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What is it?
Standards inspections ensure compliance with industry standards. In such
inspections, a usability professional with extensive knowledge of the standard
analyzes the elements of the product for their use of the industry standard.
For example, software products designed for the Windows environment
should have common elements, such as the same functions on the File menu,
a Help menu, etc. Or, products designed to be marketed in a particular
country may have to conform to that country's ergonomic standards. Many
monitors or keyboards are restricted from some uses in certain European
countries due to occupational safety and health standards in those countries.
How do I do it?
In most cases, the inspection must be performed by an expert in the standard.
For conformance to an operating system environment, perhaps the inspection
could be performed by a representative of the operating system company.
For conformance to a national safety and health standard, the inspector
would probably be a member of that country's standards organization.
When should I use this technique?
This technique is best used in the middle stages of development, as the
actual design is being developed with the given standard in mind. For some
products, the standards inspection will be the major milestone allowing
the initial design to proceed into manufacturability analysis and further
Who can tell me more?
Click on any of the following links for more information:
Wixon, Dennis, et. al., "Inspections and Design Reviews: Framework,
History, and Reflection," in Nielsen,
Jakob, and Mack, R. eds, Usability
Inspection Methods, 1994, John Wiley
and Sons, New York, NY. ISBN 0-471-01877-5 (hardcover)
Nielsen, Jakob, Usability
Inspection Tutorial, 1995, CHI
All content copyright © 1996 - 2011 James Hom