ISO 9241-210: Ergonomics of human–system interaction — Part 210: Humancentered design for interactive systems

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This ISO standard discusses about designing interactive systems using human-centered design
approach. The standard does not provide any specific design methodology for designing
effective interactive systems. But, it gives a complementary human-centered design approach
that can be fitted into any of the existing design methodologies.
This standard recognizes user experience as one of the important component for designing
interactive systems. Improving user experience is one of the rationales behind the adoption of
human-centered design approach for designing interactive systems.
The standard defines user experience as “person’s perceptions and responses resulting from
the use and/or anticipated use of a product, system or service. “ The standard gives following
characteristics of UX:

UX Composition
 It includes all the users’ emotions, beliefs, preferences, perceptions, physical and
psychological responses, behaviors and accomplishments that occurs before, during
and after use.

Antecedents of UX
 System factors: brand, image, presentation, functionality, system performance,
interactive behavior and assistive capabilities.
 User factors: internal or physical state resulting from previous experiences, attitudes,
skills, personality, strengths, limitations, expectations and preferences.
 Context of use

Relation with usability:
 This standard argues against the misconception about the relation between UX and
usability. According to standard, usability is closely related to UX. This is due to the fact
that usability can cover perceptual and emotional aspects of user experience when
considered from users’ personal goals point of view.

Designing UX
Designing UX is the innovative process which takes into consideration emotional and aesthetic
user satisfaction, efficiency and effectiveness. According to the human-centered approach for
designing interactive systems, the design should address the whole user experience.
Design decisions play important role in enhancing the overall UX. One of the design decisions
related to designing UX is proper allocation of functions between the technology and human
users. The allocation of functions should be done based on the complete understanding of the
intended context of use – including users’ roles and tasks and their outputs. For example: when
the user experience of the product for organizational setup is being designed then impact of
organization and job should be considered. Similarly, for designing how the user accomplishes
the tasks should be considered in contrast to how the system should look.

The main contribution of this standard is:
1. introduction of UX
2. UX definition from practitioners’ point of view which has been confirmed by survey study
conducted on 275 researchers and practitioners from academia and industry.
3. different views on relation between usability and UX

Posted by Puneet

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2 Responses to ISO 9241-210: Ergonomics of human–system interaction — Part 210: Humancentered design for interactive systems

  1. Amandeep says:

    ISO 9241-210 standard is by far one of the most respected source of referencing. It has stated some of important guidelines regarding what is is UX and its components but I feel that most of the guidelines are for big managers rather than for individual designers.

    Whenever I read this standard it gives me a sense that is this standard too much biased by the UX practitioners who have their say in making this document as an official standard? This is debatable topic but overall what ISO 9241-210 states is similar to what Effiel et al, 2009 has presented through the medium of 275 UX people survey

  2. Anna says:

    This standard describes quite well the issues related to a personal user experience. It doesn’t say anything about social user experiences. Co-experiences in social situations have an effect on our individual experiences.

    With our course group we discussed that it’s okay to state that usability is closely related to UX. Good usability doesn’t make a user experience worse. Usability was defined before it had been written in a standard form. The concept of user experience is still under discussion. It is interesting to have it in the standard though the concept is not well defined yet.

    Many articles and papers that we have read during the course are discussing about the same things that have been written to the standard. User experience is seen as a part of user interface design. Maybe user experience should be the covering umbrella under which all designing, R&D and marketing should happen in companies.

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