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USABILITY STANDARDS ACROSS THE DEVELOPMENT LIFECYCLE Published: 7/11/2011 Mary Frances Theofanos, Brian C Stanton In 2005 the International Standards Organization published ISO/IEC 25062 ,Common Industry Format (CIF) for Usability Test ReportsŠ. This standard focused on documenting the results of usability testing in a consistent format in terms of user effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction that would allow comparison among products by purchasers of such systems. However, soon after its publication the user community advocated for additional standards to document the output of usability-related work within the development life-cycle of interactive systems. A general framework for usability-related information (ISO/IEC Technical Report 25060) is now available that identifies seven outputs of the usability-engineering process. Although the framework focuses on documenting those elements needed for design and development of usable systems it is critical to understand the relationship of these elements to the human centered design process and the activities of the system life-cycle processes. These new Common Industry Format standards for usability-related information are a further step in standardizing usability engineering in industry. Common Industry Specification for Usabilty --Requirements Series: NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR); Report Number: 7432; Published: 6/13/2007 Mary Frances Theofanos The Common Industry Specification for Usability - Requirements (CISU-R) helps usability professionals, product managers, and others working in product design and development to create usability requirements. It sets standards for specifying usability requirements, which include three types of information: ¿{The context of use: the intended users, their goals and tasks, associated equipment, and the physical and social environment in which the product can be used. ¿{Performance and satisfaction criteria: measures of usability for the product. ¿{The test method and context of testing: the method to be used to test whether the usability requirements have been met and the context in which the measurements will be made.

A practical guide to the CIF:usability measurements Published: 12/29/2006 Mary Frances Theofanos, Brian C Stanton, Nigel Bevan Using the Common Industry Format ( CIF) to specify usability measures can positively influence the development process. The CIF remains inherently flexible and adaptable?empowering the practitioner to identify success criteria specific to the application. Summative usability testing with objective user performance and subjective satisfaction metrics based on existing systems provide an effective way to communicate usability requirements and usability assessments. The CIF standardizes the information captured about usability testing with users. The newly introduced Common Industry Specifications for Usabiltiy - Requirements (CISU-R) provides a structure for specifying usability requirements. These specifications provide the tools to design the measures and collect the metrics for determining the usability of systems.

Usability Standards: Are they effective in fostering good usability practice? Published: 6/14/2006 Mary Frances Theofanos, Whitney Quesenbery, Dean Barker, Lisa Battle, Mike Paciello, Mary Beth Rettger Do standards have a place in developing our usability practice? From those who believe they are a critical part of developing the profession to those who think they get in the way of creativity, standards provoke strong opinions. At Usability Professionals¿ Association (UPA) 2006 conference a panel of professionals looked at the role and effectiveness of standards in our profession from several different perspectives.

Towards the Design of Effective Formative Test Reports Published: 11/30/2005 Mary Frances Theofanos, Whitney Quesenbery Many usability practitioners conduct most of their usability evaluations to improve a product during its design and development. We call these "formative" evaluations to distinguish them from "summative" (validation) usability tests at the end of development. A standard for reporting summative usability test results has been adopted by international standards organizations. But that standard is not intended for the broader range of techniques and business contexts in formative work. This paper reports on a new industry project to identify best practices in reports of formative usability evaluations. The initial work focused on gathering examples of reports used in a variety of business contexts. We define elements in these reports and present some early guidelines on making design decisions for a formative report. These guidelines are based on considerations of the business context, the relationship between author and audience, the questions that the evaluation is trying to answer, and the techniques used in the evaluation. Future work will continue to investigate industry practice and conduct evaluations of proposed guidelines or templates. Better Reports: How To Communicate The Results Of Usability Testing Proceedings of STC 51st Annual Conference, Society for Technical Communication, Baltimore, MD., May 9-12, 2004 Jarrett, Caroline You've spent several days setting up a usability test, recruiting the participants and running it. Then you've poured over the data. What next?
If you are writing up your dissertation then skip this paper. You'll need to follow the rules of your university and every detail is likely to be important. But if you are doing usability testing as part of user-centred design within a business setting, then there are many ways that you can communicate the results. This paper looks at reports and then considers presentation and observation as alternatives to reports.

Using Consumer Demands to Bridge the Gap between Software Engineering and Usability Engineering Software Process Improvement and Practice Journal , Vol. 8:2, 2004 Morse, E. L.; Scholtz, J. C The Common Industry Format (CIF) is a standard reporting format developed to facilitate adding usability as a criterion for software procurement. We describe the CIF and how it can be used by consumers to request software that includes usability engineering in the development process. Keywords: Common Industry Format , software engineering , software procurement , usability engineering The Common Industry Format: A Way for Vendors and Customers to Talk About Software Usability Computer-Human Interaction Conference September 8-12, 2003 , Bath, England - September 01, 2003 Butler, K.; Wichansky, A.; Laskowski, S. J.; Morse, E. L.; Scholtz, J. C. One way to encourage software developers to integrate usability engineering into their development process is for purchasers to require evidence of product usability. Until recently this presented a difficulty because usability and "user friendly software" were vague, ambiguous terms. When large corporations purchase software, they use a number of quantitative measurements in their procurement decision-making process, such as the amount of memory needed, results from standard benchmark tests, performance measures, and measures of robustness. This paper describes our efforts to provide a standard method of quantifying usability and reporting on usability testing to include it in procurement decision-making. Keywords: CIF, common industry format, industry reporting project, IUSR, procurement, standard reporting format, software  Quantifying Usability: The Industry Usability Reporting Project Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Conference July 01, 2002 Butler, K. ; Wishansky, A.; Laskowski, S. J.; Morse, E. L.; Scholtz, J. C The paper describes the Common Industry format (CIF) developed in the Industry Usability Reporting Project (IUSR), which is now an ANSI standard. Four pilot studies conducted to verify the usefulness of the CIF are also described. Keywords: ANSI standard , usability The Common Industry Format (CIF) is Now an ANSI/INCITS Standard Usability Professionals Association, July 8-12, 2002 , Orlando, FL Laskowski, S. J. ; Morse, E. L. The IUSR (Industry USability Reporting) project, led by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), is developing approaches for increasing the visibility of software usability. Participants are from prominent software supplier and customer organizations. This poster presents an overview of the IUSR project and its major deliverable the Common Industry Format (CIF) for reporting the results of usability tests. Keywords: CIF , common industry format , industry reporting project , IUSR , procurement , standard reporting format , software A New Usability Standard and What It Means to You ACM SIGCHI Bulletin June 01, 2002 Morse, E. L.; Scholtz, J. C. The Common Industry Format (CIF) was approved on December 12, 2001 as an ANSII standard (ANSI/NCITS-354-2001). The CIF is a deliverable from the Industry USability Reporting (IUSR) Project begun in 1997, facilitated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (www.nist.gov/isur). This article describes the CIF and how it can be used as well as future expansions to the CIF. Keywords: CIF, common industry format, industry reporting project, IUSR, procurement, standard reporting format, software A Standard Reporting Format for Summative Usability Evaluations Internal publication, 2002 Morse, E. L.; Scholtz, J. C. Poor usability is an uncontrolled source of overhead, caused by the need for users to correct errors and continually re-learn complex user interfaces. The IUSR (Industry USability Reporting) project, led by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), is developing approaches for increasing the visibility of software usability. Participants are from prominent software supplier and customer organizations. This article presents an overview of the IUSR project and its major deliverable the Common Industry Format (CIF) for reporting the results of usability tests. Keywords: CIF , common industry format , industry reporting project , IUSR , procurement , standard reporting format , software Quantifying Usability: The Industry Usability Reporting Project Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, Baltimore, Sept 30-Oct 4, 2002 Scholtz, J. C. ; Wichansky, A.; Butler, K. ; Morse, E. L.; Laskowski, S. J. Usability is an important concept for both the users of software and the producers of software. But, what exactly is usability? How can usability be measured or quantified? How much does usability testing save or cost? Can an environment be created that encourages incorporating usability engineering into the software development lifecycle? The Industry USability Reporting (IUSR) Project seeks to help potential corporate consumers of software obtain information about the usability of supplier products, to measure the benefit of more usable software, and to increase communication about usability needs between consumers and suppliers. There are two parts to the IUSR Project: 1) a proposed format for sharing usability information and a pilot study in which both supplier (the developer) and consumer (the purchaser) companies to test the effectiveness of using usability test results as procurement criteria, and 2) a pilot study to verify the usefulness of the reporting format. These are the first steps along a path to creating usability tools and techniques that can serve to increase communications across corporate boundaries. Keywords: CIF , common industry format , industry reporting project , IUSR , procurement , standard reporting format , software The IUSR Project and the Common Industry Reporting Format Proceedings of the Conference on Universal Usability, ACM's Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction, Nov. 16-17, 2000.Morse, E. L. For 3 years, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been leading the Industry USability Reporting (IUSR) project. The purpose of the project is to increase the visibility of software usability. Participants are from major software suppliers and customer organizations. This poster presents an overview of the IUSR project. Major emphasis is placed on the Common Industry Format (CIF) for reporting the results of usability tests. The current focus of the group centers around Pilot Testing to validate of the use of the CIF. Additional information about the IUSR project can be found at: iusr@nist.gov. Keywords: CIF , common industry format , IUSR , procurement , software usability , usability testing Specifying and evaluating usability requirements using the Common Industry Format Four Case Studies Proceedings of IRIP 17th World Computer Congress, Montreal, Canada, 25-30 August 2002. p. 133-148. Kluwer Academic Publishers Bevan, Nigel; Claridge, Nigel; Maguire, Martin ; Athousaki, Maria. The Common Industry Format for usability test reports has been used to introduce usability into public and private contracts for the development of two web sites, acquisition of a travel management system and acquisition of travel agency software. Four pairs of supplier and consumer organizations worked with usability specialists to establish usability requirements and/or to evaluate whether the supplied system met the requirements.Keywords: usability, evaluation, requirements, procurement, standards Planning User-Centered Design Activities with the Common Industry Format Proceedings of UPA 2001, Usability Professionals Association, Lake Las Vegas, Nevada, June 25-29, 2001Fadden, Steve Usability practitioners are often introduced to product development efforts too late in the process to conduct comprehensive user-centered design activities. By using the Common Industry Format as a user-centered design roadmap, practitioners can focus their efforts on activities that will deliver the most return on investment for product usability. Common industry Format Usability Tests Proceedings of UPA'98, Usability Professionals Association, Scottsdale, Arizona, 29 June-2 July, 1999 Bevan, Nigel A Common Industry Format for usability test reports is currently being agreed between major software suppliers and purchasers in an initiative co-coordinated by NIST. The objective is to raise the profile of usability in the procurement process, and to demonstrate the consequent benefits of acquiring products with increased usability. For the reports to be useful, they should contain reliable measures of usability. This requires a carefully designed evaluation procedure and use of appropriate metrics.
Maintained by: Brian Stanton
Last modified: July 18, 2006
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