ISO 9241 is a multi-part standard covering a number of aspects for people working with computers. Although originally titled Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs) it is being retitled to the more generic Ergonomics of Human System Interaction by ISO. As part of this change, ISO is renumbering the standard so that it can include many more topics. The first part to be renumbered was part 10 (now renumbered to part 110).
The revised multipart standard is structured as a series of standards numbered in "hundreds" as follows:
The 28 parts of the standard are:
(1997) Ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs) - General Introduction This part introduces the multi-part standard ISO 9241 for the ergonomic requirements for the use of visual display terminals for office tasks and explains some of the basic underlying principles. It provides some guidance on how to use the standard and describes how conformance to parts of ISO 9241 should be reported.
(1993) Guidance on task requirements This part deals with the design of tasks and jobs involving work with visual display terminals. It provides guidance on how task requirements may be identified and specified within individual organisations and how task requirements can be incorporated into the system design and implementation process.
(1993) Visual display requirements This part specifies the ergonomics requirements for display screens which ensure that they can be read comfortably, safely and efficiently to perform office tasks. Although it deals specifically with displays used in offices, it is appropriate to specify it for most applications that require general purpose displays to be used in an office-like environment.
(2008)Finally published: ISO 9241-30x visual display requirements
The ISO Central Secretariat published the new ISO 9241-30x standard series, and thus ISO 9241-307, on 15 Nov. 2008.
From that date the predecessor standards (ISO 9241-3, ISO 9241-7, ISO 9241-8, ISO 13406-1, ISO 13406-2) for new compliance test and assessments formally do NOT apply anymore. Only the new standard series, and in particular ISO 9241-307, is applicable for conformity assessments.
The content of this new standard has in fact already been known to the public for some time, as its Final Draft Version – ISO/FDIS 9241-307 – was by vote accepted to become a published standard in Feb. 2008. In spite of this advance notice, however, the industry has encountered difficulties in adopting the standard. The respective committee of GS-mark Authority ZLS, namely EK1 AG1, therefore decided to grant a transition period during which GS-mark certifications already under way could be based on the predecessors of the ISO 9241-30x series. This transition period ends on 14 Nov. 2009. After that date only GS-mark certificates demonstrating compliance in accordance with the new standard will be valid.
As TÜV Rheinland Group actively worked on development of the new standard via participation in the ISO-standardization committees, TÜV Rheinland Taiwan is already set up to offer comprehensive measurement and consultation services in regard to the standard, in addition to the GS mark and Ergonomics mark. Further to this, TÜV Rheinland offers the possibility to express compliance with the new standard with permission to use the TUVdotCOM keywords "ISO 9241-307 Reality Information" and / or "ISO 9241-307 Artificial Information." [*]
New standards usually place new burdens on manufacturers, who ask why changes are once again necessary. Despite this, it is clear that the new visual-display standard has its advantages. For example, ISO 13406-2 had its limitations in terms of scope, with its range of application limited to visual-display working tasks and only to certain display types and (minimum) sizes. The ISO 9241-30x standard series does not have these limitations. It encompasses all display types and sizes and also applies to different usage contexts. It is also expandable to embrace new display technologies, shown with the first extensions of the standard series to part 308 for Surface Emitter Devices (SED) and part 309 for Organic Light Emitting Displays (OLED).
Beyond this it has the major advantage that different contexts of use can be considered during the approval process. This enables us granting the GS-mark also for applications, which formerly were not possible to test appropriately according to older standards, because testing requirements could not be applied appropriately.
(1998) Keyboard requirements This part specifies the ergonomics design characteristics of an alphanumeric keyboard which may be used comfortably, safely and efficiently to perform office tasks. Keyboard layouts are dealt with separately in various parts of ISO/IEC 9995: 1994 Information Processing - Keyboard Layouts for Text and Office Systems
(1998) Workstation layout and postural requirements This part specifies the ergonomics requirements for a Visual Display Terminal workplace which will allow the user to adopt a comfortable and efficient posture.
(1999) Environmental requirements This part specifies the ergonomics requirements for the Visual Display Terminal working environment which will provide the user with comfortable, safe and productive working conditions.
(1998) Display requirements with reflections This part specifies methods of measurement of glare and reflections from the surface of display screens, including those with surface treatments.
(1997) Requirements for displayed colours This part specifies the requirements for multicolour displays which are largely in addition to the monochrome requirements in Part 3.
(2000) Requirements for non-keyboard input devices This part specifies the ergonomics requirements for non-keyboard input devices which may be used in conjunction with a visual display terminal. It also includes a suggestion for a user-based performance test as an alternative way of showing conformance. The standard covers such devices as the mouse, trackball and other pointing devices, but it does not address voice input.
(1996) Dialogue principles This part deals with general ergonomic principles which apply to the design of dialogues between humans and information systems: suitability for the task, suitability for learning, suitability for individualisation, conformity with user expectations, self descriptiveness, controllability, and error tolerance.
(1998)This part deals with the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.
(1998) Presentation of information This part contains specific recommendations for presenting and representing information on visual displays. It includes guidance on ways of representing complex information using alphanumeric and graphical/symbolic codes, screen layout, and design as well as the use of windows.
(1998) User guidance This part provides recommendations for the design and evaluation of user guidance attributes of software user interfaces including Prompts, Feedback, Status, On-line Help and Error Management.
(1997)Menu dialogues This part provides recommendations for the ergonomic design of menus used in user-computer dialogues. The recommendations cover menu structure, navigation, option selection and execution, and menu presentation (by various techniques including windowing, panels, buttons, fields, etc.).
(1998) Command language dialogues This part provides recommendations for the ergonomic design of command languages used in user-computer dialogues. The recommendations cover command language structure and syntax, command representations, input and output considerations, and feedback and help.
(1999) Direct manipulation dialogues This part provides recommendations for the ergonomic design of direct manipulation dialogues, and includes the manipulation of objects, and the design of metaphors, objects and attributes. It covers those aspects of Graphical User Interfaces that are directly manipulated, and not covered by other parts of ISO 9241.
(1998) Form-filling dialogues This part provides recommendations for the ergonomic design of form filling dialogues. The recommendations cover form structure and output considerations, input considerations, and form navigation.