ISO 9241 Part 15: Command dialogues


ISO 9241-15:1997 Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs) -- Part 15: Command dialogues.


International Standard. Will be replaced by ISO 9241-132.

Lifecycle Phase

Create the user experience.

Type of Guidance

Principles and general recommendations.

Application Area



This part of ISO 9241 provides recommendations for systems that use command line interfaces (such as DOS and UNIX).  With a command line interface, the user works with the system by typing in commands that meet certain syntactic rules. The standard begins by describing the appropriate application areas for these interfaces (for example, applications that people use frequently, and that require speed and flexibility). The recommendations cover: structure and syntax (for example, macros and command arguments); command representation (for example, command names and abbreviations); input and output considerations (for example, command reuse and editing); and feedback and help (for example, command processing and error feedback). The standard contains two annexes. The first is a sample procedure for assessing applicability and adherence and includes a five-page checklist (using a conditional compliance route, see the description of ISO 9241-12). The second annex is a bibliography.


User interface designers and evaluators.

See Also

ISO 9241-110:2006 Ergonomics of human-system interaction -- Part 110: Dialogue principles.

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