The requirements section of wikipedia's page on user interface design refers to ISO 9241, particularly part 10 which has been withdrawn and replaced with ISO 9241-110:2006 - Ergonomics of human-system interaction -- Part 110: Dialogue principles which is a 22 page PDF costing 108 Swiss Francs, ~110 USD or 70 GBP. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has read it as to whether it is worth purchasing.

I've read the answers to Does ISO 9241 really matter? but if I have read the Wikipedia page and bluffers guide and I'm going to be reading around the subject from other sources, does reading the actual ISO document add anything?

  • 1
    Just a hint: You might get it in almost every bigger library as PDF. The membership fee is for sure less than buying it. Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 13:54
  • If I was spending £70 - I'd probably spend it some other books...
    – PhillipW
    Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 21:27
  • With a catchy title like that, how could you NOT!?
    – DA01
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 6:12
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    @DA01, I'm also concerned if it will make sense without reading parts 1-109 first.
    – Sam Hasler
    Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 8:10

1 Answer 1


does reading the actual ISO document add anything?

Yes and no.

Yes: If you work in a highly standardised and controlled environment (especially an environment where it is taxpayer money being spent) then the ISO is worth it. NOT because it tells you things you don't know or anything you can't find elsewhere, but because it allows you to set up a traceability matrix to link your design decisions to specific elements of the standard.

No: If you do not work in a highly controlled or regulated environment, then you will derive little (if any) practical use from the standard.

My only other comment about this is that your organization would already have a copy, and use of it would already be part of standard operating procedures, if it was important to them. You seem to already have your answer.

My 0.02 having spent years in controlled environments.

  • You forgot to mention that in case a product is developed that has to be based on this standard, the document must be bought. It's a sort of a certificate that you have used it in order to create the product and that its specs are concurrent with what's in the ISO standard. Commented Jan 17, 2016 at 15:36

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