ISO 13407

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Logo of the German Institute for Standardization DIN EN ISO 13407
Area Software development
title User-oriented design of interactive systems
Latest edition 2000-11 (invalid)
ISO 13407

The EN ISO 13407 user-oriented design of interactive systems was a standard that describes a prototypical user-oriented software development process. A particular development process can be considered compliant with it if its recommendations are met. The German version of EN ISO 13407 was published as a DIN standard in November 2000 . As of January 2011, EN ISO 9241-210 will replace this standard .


In its structure, the standard consists of both descriptions of planning user-oriented design and explanations on the development of interactive systems that focus on making systems user-friendly . These describe an iterative development process in a short, clear and, for a standard, very legible form , in which user and task characteristics determine the development of the software. The standard also contains additional guidelines and tables for reporting on user-oriented activities.

Development process

The standard presents user-oriented design as an interdisciplinary activity that includes knowledge of human factors and ergonomic knowledge and techniques. The ISO process consists of four essential sub-activities:

  1. Understand the context of use: The result of this activity is a documented description of the relevant users, their work tasks and their environment.
  2. Specify requirements: During this phase, the target values ​​are derived from the existing documentation on a compromise level. The division of the system tasks into those that are to be carried out by people and those that are to be carried out by technology is determined.
  3. Producing solutions: This can be done in terms of prototyping or another iterative process. These prototypes can still be pure paper drafts ( mock-ups ) or already executable program versions. If there are company-internal design rules for user interfaces, these should be used.
  4. Assess solutions: The solutions are checked for compliance with the specified requirements. Expert reviews , usability tests, surveys or a mixture of these can be used for this. The deviations discovered are then evaluated for their relevance and are the starting point for the next iteration of the development process.

This procedure is complementary to existing software engineering process models and complements them. According to the standard, the user-oriented design process should start at the earliest stage of the project and should then be run through repeatedly until the system meets the requirements. The importance and effort for the user-oriented design is measured by the size and type of the product to be developed and is controlled by individuals for smaller projects.

Diagram ISO 13407.png

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In the user-oriented design procedure , the proportion of direct user participation in the development process is higher. Nevertheless, the standard has to be measured against these forms of participatory software development . The standardized procedure does not seem to admit the indispensable creative freedom for software development. On the other hand, there is a structure and makes it possible to always make similar things similar. So everyone involved knows how to proceed.


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