ISO 9241-11

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International Standard ISO 9241-11

Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs)

Part 11: Guidance on usability

Year: 1998.


Extract from

ISO 9241-11 defines usability and explains how to identify the information which is necessary to take into account when specifying or evaluating usability of a visual display terminal in terms of measures of user performance and satisfaction. Guidance is given on how to describe the context of use of the product (hardware, software or service) and the relevant measures of usability in an explicit way. The guidance is given in the form of general principles and techniques, rather than in the form of requirements to use specific methods.

The guidance in ISO 9241-11 can be used in procurement, design, development, evaluation, and communication of information about usability. ISO 9241-11 includes guidance on how the usability of a product can be specified and evaluated. It applies both to products intended for general application and products being acquired for or being developed within a specific organization.

ISO 9241-11 also explains how measures of user performance and satisfaction can be used to measure how any component of a work system affects the whole work system in use. The guidance includes procedures for measuring usability but does not detail all the activities to be undertaken. Specification of detailed user-based methods of measurement is beyond the scope of ISO 9241-11, but further information can be found in Annex B and the bibliography in Annex E.

ISO 9241-11 applies to office work with visual display terminals. It can also apply in other situations where a user is interacting with a product to achieve goals. ISO 9241 parts 12 to 17 provide conditional recommendations which are applicable in specific contexts of use. The guidance in this Part of ISO 9241 can be used in conjunction with ISO 9241 Parts 12 to 17 in order to help identify the applicability of individual recommendations.

ISO 9241-11 focuses on usability and does not provide comprehensive coverage of all objectives of ergonomic design referred to in ISO 6385. However, design for usability will contribute positively to ergonomic objectives, such as the reduction of possible adverse effects of use on human health, safety and performance.

ISO 9241-11 does not cover the processes of system development. Human-centred design processes for interactive systems are described in ISO 13407.


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