International ISO standards on human system interaction are changing

Sebastian Fiedler

This is probably old news for the professional usability crowd. However, I have recently re-visited a number of ISO standards that I made use of within my earlier consulting work on human-centered design, Web (and Software) usability.

It appears that ISO 9241 that used to be titled “Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals” is being re-titled and re-organised.
It carries now the more generic title “Ergonomics of Human System Interaction” and ISO is renumbering the standard so that it can include many more topics:

  • 100 series: Software ergonomics
  • 200 series: Human system interaction processes
  • 300 series: Displays and display related hardware
  • 400 series: Physical input devices – ergonomics principles
  • 500 series: Workplace ergonomics
  • 600 series: Environment ergonomics
  • 700 series: Application domains – Control rooms
  • 900 series: Tactile and haptic interactions

The first part of ISO 9241 that has been renumbered seems to be the old part 10 that is now Part 110 “Dialogue principles”. However, the dialogue principles still seem to be the same.

For folks who are interested in Web usability and design issues there are two (relatively new) relevant parts already following the new numbering system:

  • Part 151: Guidance on World Wide Web user interfaces
  • Part 171: Guidance on software accessibility

What I also find noteworthy is the fact that good old ISO 13407 “Human-centred design processes for interactive systems” will be integrated into ISO 9421. The new draft version is titled “Human-centred design for interactive systems” and should become part 210 in the new numbering system of ISO 9241. I am not sure yet what is actually being changed (apart from the number…).

If you know more about it… shoot me a message.

[Sebastian Fiedler]

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