Designing With Human Centered Usability Standards

When watching students attempt to find books to write a paper, we noticed that some of our participants had problems finding the library’s subsite under the right main-menu option. This is a violation of the ISO 9241-110 dialogue principle of self-descriptiveness. We realized we needed to improve the labeling of the main menu, so the user could better find the library (a high-priority area) on the site.

As we analyzed the results of the usability test, we found many more breaches of the ISO standards. We categorized them by the dialogue principles, and prioritized them by combining Jeff Rubin’s problem severity scale with the frequency of the problem’s occurrence. The higher the degree of the usability problem, the more urgent was its elimination. We then examined each usability problem, and recommended design solutions to fix them based on feedback by participants.