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Standard Usability. Human-centred design for interactive systems Jonathan Earthy Principal Human Factors Specialist. Overview of presentation. What’s the problem? Usability – what is it? How to achieve it A standard approach Relation to systems and software engineering

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Standard usability

Standard Usability

Human-centred design for interactive systems

Jonathan Earthy

Principal Human Factors Specialist

Overview of presentation
Overview of presentation

  • What’s the problem?

  • Usability – what is it?

  • How to achieve it

  • A standard approach

  • Relation to systems and software engineering

  • Roles and responsibilities

What is the problem
What is the problem?

Dear CEO,

I use an IT system to do my job. However this IT system is very inefficient; it’s almost unusable. I don’t perform as I should and the IT system is the main cause.

I ask for a better IT system or another job.


The elephant in the living room
The elephant in the living room

Ever had a letter like this from your employee?

Employees have learned to do as told to the best of their abilities. They don’t express this kind of feelings.

Users rightfully demand better tools to do their jobs, except if these tools are IT systems.

This is not right and does not help the business to achieve better results.

Manhaeve 2004

Business risks of using it systems
Business risks of using IT systems

  • Low quality of information and hence low quality of decisions

  • Waste of investment

  • Loss of productivity

  • Loss of control (of business/organisation)

  • Loss of effectiveness

  • Waste of operational costs

  • Waste of training and support costs

  • Health and safety endangered

  • Unhappy users

  • Low image of IT.

A human centred approach
A Human-Centred Approach

  • Contributes to business success in a number of sectors of industry

  • Structure for the consideration of Human-System issues

  • Fits systems and software to people and tasks

  • Design and operation of effective systems of work

  • Improves job satisfaction, staff recruitment and retention

  • Supports the development of a safety culture

Usability a measure of success
Usability – a measure of success

The capability of a system to enable

specified users to achieve

specified goals


  • effectiveness,

  • efficiency and

  • satisfaction

    in specified contexts of use.

Context of use
Context of Use



equipment (hardware, software and materials),

and the physical

and social environments

in which a product

is used.

Iso 9241 210 human centred design for interactive systems principles
ISO 9241-210 Human-centred design for interactive systems* principles

  • The design is based upon an explicit understanding of users, tasks and environments

  • Users are involved throughout design and development

  • The design is driven and refined by user-centred evaluation

  • The process is iterative

  • The design addresses the whole user experience

  • The design team includes multi- disciplinary skills and perspectives.

    *formerly ISO 13407

Human centred design hcd activities iso 18529
Human Centred Design (HCD) Activities (ISO 18529)

Understand and

specify the

context of use

Specify the user


Ensure HCD

content in

systems strategy

Introduce and

operate the


Plan and manage

the HCD process

Produce design



Usability methods
Usability methods

  • Listening and watching

  • Showing

  • Trying out

  • Understanding

  • Measuring

  • Simulating

  • Communicating the results

  • Understanding that programmers are not users

  • neither are managers

  • or purchasing staff.

Good supplier behaviours

Who has the risk?

Good supplier behaviours

  • Willingness to listen and act

  • Understanding of the ISO standards

  • Knowledge of the context of use

  • Planning for human-centred activities

  • Understanding of iteration

  • Ability to provide training

  • Ability to manage IT services.

Possibilities for control
Possibilities for control

  • Testing and quality of the report

  • Feedback of context of use

  • Clarity and precision of requirements

  • Use of recognised methods

  • But really need lead indicators, i.e. process and service quality management

  • Put ISOs in the contract?

Related standards
Related standards

ISO/IEC 15288 and 12207 Systems and software lifecycle management

ISO/IEC 20000 Service management

ISO/IEC 15504 Process assessment

ISO PAS 18152Human-system lifecycle processes

ISO/IEC 25010 Quality measurement framework including quality in use

ISO 9241-11 Guidance on Usability

ISO/IEC 25062 Common industry format for usability reports (CIF)

ISO 9241-110 & 12 collectively Principles of software ergonomics

ISO TR 16982 Usability methods supporting human centred design

Human factors competence definitions
Human Factors competence definitions

User Needs Analysis (level 3-5)

Establishes, clarifies and communicates requirements for usability and utility.

Identifies the characteristics of the users and their tasks, and the technical, organisational and physical environment in which the ICT product or system will operate.

System Ergonomics (level 2-5)

Iteratively develops the allocation of function (between the human, machine and organisational elements of the system), user interaction and job design for ICT products and services

based on user requirements, the context of use, relevant ergonomics knowledge and feedback from evaluations of prototypes. This addresses design for any human "ility" such as accessibility, usability, health and safety

Usability Evaluation (level 3-5)

Assessment of the usability (including health and safety, and accessibility) of a new or existing ICT product or service (or prototype).

Methods include user trials, expert review, survey, analytical.

Human Factors Integration(level 5-7)

Ensures that project and enterprise activities related to the user experience are performed by the organisation in order to achieve required levels of ICT product or service usability.

Skills Framework for the Information Age


  • Businesses have information needs, but

  • People do the work

  • Define the users, the job and the resulting needs and

  • Plan to support the users in their work

  • If not the:

    • Training costs will be undefined

    • The support costs will be greater than expected

    • There will be errors and inefficiencies in use

    • The system may not be used at all.

Any questions
Any Questions?