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ISO 13407

 

Human centred design processes for interactive systems

ISO 13407 provides guidance on achieving quality in use by incorporating user centred design activities throughout the life cycle of interactive computer-based systems. It describes user centred design as a multi-disciplinary activity, which incorporates human factors and ergonomics knowledge and techniques with the objective of enhancing effectiveness and productivity, improving human working conditions, and counteracting the possible adverse effects of use on human health, safety and performance.

There are four user centred design activities that need to start at the earliest stages of a project. These are to:

  • understand and specify the context of use
  • specify the user and organisational requirements
  • produce design solutions
  • evaluate designs against requirements.

The iterative nature of these activities is illustrated in Figure 1. The process involves iterating until the objectives are satisfied.

The sequence in which these are performed and the level of effort and detail that is appropriate varies depending on the design environment and the stage of the design process.

Figure 1 - The interdependence of user centred design activities

ISO TR 18529: Human-centred lifecycle process descriptions

The EC INUSE project developed a offsitestructured and formalised definition of the human-centred processes described in ISO 13407. An improved version has subsequently been published as ISO TR 18529. It is intended to make the contents of ISO 13407 accessible to software processes assessment and improvement specialists and to those familiar with or involved in process modeling. It can be used in the specification, assessment and improvement of the human-centred processes in system development and operation.

The Usability Maturity Model in ISO TR 18529 consists of seven sets of base practices (Table 1). These base practices describe what has to be done in order to represent and include the users of a system during the lifecycle. The model uses the format common to process assessment models. These models describe the processes that ought to be performed by an organisation to achieve defined technical goals. The processes in this model are described in the format defined in ISO 15504 Software process assessment. Although the primary use of a process assessment model is for the measurement of how well an organisation carries out the processes covered by the model, such models can also be used as a description of what is required in order to design and develop effective organisational and project processes.

1

Ensure HCD content in system strategy

1.1

Represent stakeholders

1.2

Collect market intelligence

1.3

Define and plan system strategy

1.4

Collect market feedback

1.5

Analyse trends in users

2

Plan and manage the HCD process

2.1

Consult stakeholders

2.2

Identify and plan user involvement

2.3

Select human-centred methods and techniques

2.4

Ensure a human-centred approach within the team

2.5

Plan human-centred design activities

2.6

Manage human-centred activities

2.7

Champion human-centred approach

2.8

Provide support for human-centred design

3

Specify the stakeholder and organisational requirements

3.1

Clarify and document system goals

3.2

Analyse stakeholders

3.3

Assess risk to stakeholders

3.4

Define the use of the system

3.5

Generate the stakeholder and organisational requirements

3.6

Set quality in use objectives

4

Understand & specify the context of use

4.1

Identify and document userís tasks

4.2

Identify and document significant user attributes

4.3

Identify and document organisational environment

4.4

Identify and document technical environment

4.5

Identify and document physical environment

5

Produce design solutions

5.1

Allocate functions

5.2

Produce composite task model

5.3

Explore system design

5.4

Use existing knowledge to develop design solutions

5.5

Specify system and use

5.6

Develop prototypes

5.7

Develop user training

5.8

Develop user support

6

Evaluate designs against requirements

6.1

Specify and validate context of evaluation

6.2

Evaluate early prototypes in order to define the requirements for the system

6.3

Evaluate prototypes in order to improve the design

6.4

Evaluate the system to check that the stakeholder and organisational requirements have been met

6.5

Evaluate the system in order to check that the required practice has been followed

6.6

Evaluate the system in use in order to ensure that it continues to meet organisational and user needs

7

Introduce and operate the system

7.1

Management of change

7.2

Determine impact on organisation and stakeholders

7.3

Customisation and local design

7.4

Deliver user training

7.5

Support users in planned activities

7.6

Ensure conformance to workplace ergonomic legislation

Table 1. Human-centred design processes and their base practices


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