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About International Standard ISO/IEC 9241(part 11 of this standard)

– ISO (international organization for standardization) developed a multi-part standard that covered the ergonomics of the interaction between the humans and the systems.
– This standard is called the ISO/IEC 924 standard.
– ISO technical committee 159 is responsible for the management of this standard.
– Some parts of the standard were renumbered in order to increase the range of coverage for example to include hap-tic and tactile interaction etc.
– Initially, this standard was known as the “ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals or VDTs”.
In this article we discuss about the part 11 of this standard.
– This part is all about the guidance on usability.
– The 11th part of the standard ISO/IEC 9241 defines the extent up to which the specified users can use the software product for achieving specified goals with satisfaction along with efficiency and effectiveness.
– Satisfaction, effectiveness and efficiency are measure in terms of some specified usage context.
– A framework was proposed by this standard for describing the usability components.
– This standard even gave description about the relationships that existed between these components.
– ISO/IEC 9241 standard defines the usability in terms of the satisfaction and performance of the user.
– According to the part 11 of this standard, the usability is totally depends up on the usage context.
– As this context changes, the usability will also be affected.
– This part was launched in the year of 1998.
– This part mentions the extension to which the specified users can use a product for achieving specified goals with efficiency and effectiveness.

The 4 major goals can be stated as follows:

  • Task completion by users
  • Task in time
  • Response of the user in terms of experience and
  • Specified context i.e., tasks, users and equipment.

This standard is mostly concerned with the usability and focuses on 4 major things:

  • Product usage
  • User interface and interaction
  • Process used in the development of the product
  • Capability of the organization in the application of the user centered design.
  • Features of ISO/IEC 9241

    – This standard gives an explanation on how the information required in making specifications can be identified.
    – The information also includes the information necessary for the evaluation of the usability in terms of the satisfaction and performance of the user.
    – Guidance is on how the context of use of the products can be described in an explicit manner.
    – The standard gives explanation about specifying and evaluating the usability of the product as a part of its quality system.
    – Further, you can also get guidance up on how to measure the effect of the components of the work system up on the quality of the work of the system that is currently being used.
    – The standard also states the recommendations and the requirements that are related to the attributes of the software and hardware’s usability and ergonomic principles that lie beneath them.
    – The part 10th and from 12th to 17th are all about the attributes of the software.
    – Evaluators and designers can both use the parts from 14th to 17th.
    – But most of the emphasis is on the designers.
    – The standard even offers what is called authoritative source of reference.
    – But the designers who do not have any experience with usability often find it very difficult to apply the guidelines provided by this standard.
    – In order to apply these guidelines as well as designs it is crucial for the designers to known about the nature of the solution and goals and benefits of the design, conditions under which the proposed design can be used and the procedure that must be followed.
    – Another feature of this standard is the checklist that it provides for helping the designers assess whether the software confirms to the main principles of the ISO 9241.
    – Whatever the case may be, the designers need to understand the design first.

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