Resources: Guidelines and Methods
There are several useful international standards on usability-related topics.
Why are standards important?
Standards are a formal agreement on a specific, detailed topic. They allow us to codify best practices or a set of requirements, and share them across industries, national boundaries and disciplines.
Some standards focus on processes, describing principles and making recommendations for how to achieve a results. Others are detailed specifications, and contain requirements that must be met. Both are useful in establishing a user-centered design process or in evaluating the usability of a product.
Getting copies of standards
Standards are generally sold by the organizations that publish them, or by a national standards organization.
The easiest way to locate a standards document is to look it up by number (for example, ISO 13407).
Some sources of standards:
- Human-Centred Design Process
This standard is the basis for many UCD methodologies. It defines a general process for including human-centered activities throughout a development life-cycle.
- Ergonomic Requirements for Office Work with Video Display
This standard is the source of one of the commonly cited definitions of usability.
- Common Industry
Format for Reporting Usability Results
(ISO/IEC 25062:2006 )
This standard contains a template for formal usability reports.
- Web Accessibility Initiative
of the W3C (WAI)
This initiative is the source for the best web standards, and is also the basis for many national regulations.
For a complete list, see International standards for usability on UsabilityNet. The standards in this list are categorized by whether they concern:
- the use of the product
- the user interface and interaction
- the process used to develop the product
- the capability of an organisation to apply user centered design