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Standards Inspections 

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 engineering work.

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 '95 Proceedings

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