Worldwide Usability Standards.
There are a number of international success stories related to UX in government. Among the top 10 countries in the world identified as models of good e-governance (Canada is 11th), the UK is held out as one of the most progressive and successful in their approach to systematically managing and implementing user experience strategies. Also among the top 10 are the USA and Australia, who openly admit to copying the UK model.
The International Standards Organization (ISO) has a motto: “Great things happen when the world agrees”. They do exactly as their name suggests and provide international standards on a wide variety of topics including Usability and User Experience.
ISO 9241: Ergonomics of Human System Interaction – provides requirements and recommendations for human-centred design principles and activities. It includes a wealth of information that covers every aspect of usability, including hardware, software and usability processes, as well as checklists to help structure a usability evaluation, and examples of how to operationalize and measure usability. Parts of the ISO standard are enshrined in law in some European countries (including the UK).
The strengths of the UX model include:
- Clear governance and authority for adding value to the digital experiences of UK citizens;
- Working in agile, multi-disciplinary teams to continuously connect people who design, build and influence products and services with the citizens who use them;
- Embedding user research and user-centred design in the organization;
- Directly interacting with users, and driving design from an evidence-based perspective.
There are also a multitude of international standards, guidelines, and best practices that support UX. Some of these include:
- Australian Government Digital Transformation Agency: Digital Service Standard
- Canadian Government provides many standards through the Treasury Board Secretariat including:
- German Government Federal Ordinance on Barrier-Free Information Technology (BITV)
- New Zealand Government Web Standards Web Accessibility Standard and the Web Usability Standard.
- The UK Government provides: GOV.UK design principles
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Web Standards and Usability Guidelines and Suggested Web Best Practices
Article by: Jonathan Rath