ISO 9241 Part 1: General Introduction


ISO 9241-1:1997 Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs) -- Part 1: General introduction.


International Standard. Will be replaced by ISO/TR9241-1 and ISO 9241-130.

Lifecycle Phase

Analyse the opportunity.

Type of Guidance

Principles and general recommendations.

Application Area

General Guidance


This part of ISO 9241 serves as an introduction to all of the parts in the ISO 9241 series. It describes the purpose of the 9241 standard and discusses the user performance philosophy. This philosophy is the bedrock of the ISO 9241 series. Standards making is a slow process, partly because of the need for consensus and partly because it takes some time for stability to emerge in any new technology. This means that ergonomics standards may not be available to support the procurement of newer interface devices (such as a novel keyboard or a new type of visual display).  In such cases, requiring manufacturers to demonstrate evidence of the usability of their products provides the most effective route for ensuring good ergonomics quality. So a number of the parts in the ISO 9241 series contain user performance tests, to help manufacturers do just that. The standard also includes a bibliography and an informative annex that describes how to apply the software parts of ISO 9241 (parts 10-17).


Anyone interested in any part of ISO 9241.

See Also

ISO 13407:1999 Human-centred design processes for interactive systems.

Note: this page is a few editions behind the eBook and is out-of-date. For the very latest on ISO 9241 get the eBook version of ISO 9241 for Beginners.

ISO 9241 for Beginners

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