ISO 9241 for Beginners

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This eBook summarises the various parts of ISO 9241, with each part of the standard described on 2-3 pages.

  • Two versions in one: Both a printer-friendly PDF format and a "take anywhere" ePUB that can be read on an iPad, iPhone and almost every e-book reading device.
  • A no-waffle, just-the-facts guide written by a standards expert.
  • Each published part of the standard clearly explained with an at-a-glance view of the standard's key sections.
  • Contains a list of the 50+ future parts of ISO 9241.

Delivery method: Free, electronic download (PDF & ePub)

98 pages, last updated October 2014.

ISO 9241 for Beginners

Confused about ISO 9241? This no-waffle, just-the-facts guide will get you up to speed in minutes.

About ISO 9241 for Beginners

In the dusty institutions where usability standards gather to party with each other, ISO 9241 is a bit of a celebrity.

It is widely cited by people who would be hard pushed to name any other standard, and parts of it are virtually enshrined in law in some European countries.

But as is the fate of many celebrities, all most usability professionals know about the standard is its name. This downloadable eBook describes each of the published parts of ISO 9241 in detail.

“If an organisation is modifying their web site, or considering building a new one, then the commissioner must be able to ensure that the site is a benefit to the business... I would therefore recommend reading and acting upon three documents: PAS 124, PAS 78 and David Travis's Guide to ISO 9241.” — Peter Abrahams, Practice Leader — Accessibility and Usability, Bloor Research. "Three inexpensive and essential investments for web site commissioners".

Here is the full list of contents for this detailed, 98-page review of usability standards

  • Preface
  • Part 1: General introduction
  • Part 2: Guidance on task requirements
  • Part 3: Visual display requirements
  • Part 4: Keyboard requirements
  • Part 5: Workstation layout and postural requirements
  • Part 6: Guidance on the work environment
  • Part 7: Requirements for display with reflections
  • Part 8: Requirements for displayed colours
  • Part 9: Requirements for non-keyboard input devices
  • Part 10: Dialogue principles
  • Part 11: Guidance on usability
  • Part 12: Presentation of information
  • Part 13: User guidance
  • Part 14: Menu dialogues
  • Part 15: Command dialogues
  • Part 16: Direct manipulation dialogues
  • Part 17: Form filling dialogues
  • Part 20: Accessibility guidelines for ICT equipment and services
  • Part 100: Introduction to standards related to software ergonomics
  • Part 110: Dialogue principles
  • Part 129: Guidance on software individualization
  • Part 143: Forms
  • Part 151: Guidance on World Wide Web user interfaces
  • Part 154: Interactive voice response (IVR) applications
  • Part 171: Guidance on software accessibility
  • Part 210: Human-centred design for interactive systems
  • Part 300: Introduction to electronic visual display requirements
  • Part 302: Terminology for electronic visual displays
  • Part 303: Requirements for electronic visual displays
  • Part 304: User performance test methods for electronic visual displays
  • Part 305: Optical laboratory test methods for electronic visual displays
  • Part 306: Field assessment methods for electronic visual displays
  • Part 307: Analysis and compliance test methods for electronic visual displays
  • Part 308: Surface-conduction electron-emitter displays (SED)
  • Part 309: Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays
  • Part 310: Visibility, aesthetics and ergonomics of pixel defects
  • Part 331: Optical characteristics of autostereoscopic displays
  • Part 400: Principles and requirements for physical input devices
  • Part 410: Design criteria for physical input devices
  • Part 411: Evaluation methods for the design of physical input devices
  • Part 420: Selection procedures for physical input devices
  • Part 910: Framework for tactile and haptic interaction
  • Part 920: Guidance on tactile and haptic interactions
  • The future parts of ISO 9241
“This book is just brilliant! I admire the effort you put into it to get this information out to people. I also love your whole layout and approach. You communicated so much information on one page per document. A very high Wow! factor!”
— KM, Denmark.

The book clearly describes each part of ISO 9241 on a single page. For each part of ISO 9241 you will get answers to these common questions:

  • How do I cite it?
  • What do I need to know about it?
  • Who is it written for?
  • How many pages does it have?
  • What are the main sections?

What people say

“It gives me a place to go when I need specific information. Before I wouldn't have known where to start.” — ST, USA

“I needed to quickly understand the new requirements to put together a proposal for a client. This guide fitted the bill perfectly.” — MM, Canada

“I remember feeling pretty chuffed when I chanced upon the guide — anything but have to pay through the nose for and wade through the full standard. Excellent work.” — PK, Ireland

“Everybody talks about ISO Documents, but nobody has really ever seen them. I wanted to know what I was talking about without buying (and reading) the whole stuff.” — OB, Switzerland

“I got the book because I needed to prepare a quotation response. It impressed the hell out of most and scared the rest as it made them realise how much they should have known!” — GH, Amsterdam

“It was a great help preparing my University lectures on system usability.” — PD, Italy

“Having a good summary of usability standards like this, that is easy to turn to, is invaluable. It's going to be a great help introducing my clients to the standards that drive my work.” — SC, Australia

“The free updates are great and novel! Thank you!” — PR, UK

“It has inspired me to go to the British library and look up the ISO in full, and now I feel a bit more informed about which parts to zone in on.” — JM, UK

“After reading your guide I actually bought and downloaded part 151 of ISO 9241 from the ISO web site. Your document came in useful for understanding how ISO documents are constructed.” — GP, UK


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