ISO Standards for Usability, Accessibility, & Software Documentation

ISO Standards for Accessible Software and Documentation

ISO 9241-171:2008

  • Ergonomics of human-system interaction — Part 171: Guidance on software accessibility

    provides ergonomics guidance and specifications for the design of accessible software for use at work, in the home, in education and in public places. It covers issues associated with designing accessible software for people with the widest range of physical, sensory and cognitive abilities, including those who are temporarily disabled, and the elderly.

    ISO 9241-171:2008 is applicable to the accessibility of interactive systems. It addresses a wide range of software (e.g. office, Web, learning support and library systems).

    It promotes the increased usability of systems for a wider range of users. While it does not cover the behaviour of, or requirements for, assistive technologies (including assistive software), it does address the use of assistive technologies as an integrated component of interactive systems.

    It is intended for use by those responsible for the specification, design, development, evaluation and procurement of software platforms and software applications.

  • Standards and projects under the direct responsibility of ISO/TC 159/SC 4 Secretariat and its SCs Ergonomics of human-system interaction ISO standards

ISO/TR 22411:2008

ISO/IEC 26514:2008

  • Software and systems engineering — Requirements for designers and developers of user documentation

    ISO/IEC 26514:2008 provides requirements for the design and development of software user documentation as part of the life cycle processes. It defines the documentation process from the viewpoint of the documentation developer. ISO/IEC 26514:2008 also covers the documentation product. It specifies the structure, content, and format for user documentation, and also provides informative guidance for user documentation style. It is independent of the software tools that may be used to produce documentation, and applies to both printed documentation and on-screen documentation. Much of ISO/IEC 26514:2008 is also applicable to user documentation for systems including hardware.

ISO 9127:1988

ISO/IEC/IEEE 26515:2011

  • Systems and software engineering — Developing user documentation in an agile environment

    ISO/IEC 26515:2011 specifies the way in which user documentation can be developed in agile development projects. It is intended for use in all organizations that are using agile development, or are considering implementing their projects using these techniques. It applies to people or organizations producing suites of documentation, to those undertaking a single documentation project, and to documentation produced internally, as well as to documentation contracted to outside service organizations. ISO/IEC 26515:2011 addresses the relationship between the user documentation process and the life cycle documentation process in agile development. It describes how the information developer or project manager may plan and manage the user documentation development in an agile environment. It is intended neither to encourage nor to discourage the use of any particular agile development tools or methods.

ISO/IEC 40500:2012

  • WCAG 2.0 is approved as an ISO standard: ISO/IEC 40500:2012. ISO/IEC 40500 is exactly the same as the original WCAG 2.0 Information technology — W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0

    ISO/IEC 40500:2012 [Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0] covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following these guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photo-sensitivity and combinations of these. Following these guidelines will also often make your Web content more usable to users in general.

    WCAG 2.0 success criteria are written as testable statements that are not technology-specific. Guidance about satisfying the success criteria in specific technologies, as well as general information about interpreting the success criteria, is provided in separate documents.

    An overview of WCAG 2.0, the WCAG 2.0 standard, technical and education material supporting implementation of WCAG 2.0, and information on translating WCAG 2.0, are freely available from Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview.


ISO/IEC 23026:2006

ISO/IEC/IEEE 15289:2011

  • Systems and software engineering — Content of life-cycle information products (documentation)

    ISO/IEC/IEEE 15289:2011 provides requirements for identifying and planning the specific information items (information products, documentation) to be developed and revised during systems and software life cycles and service processes. It specifies the purpose and content of all identified systems and software data records and life cycle information items, as well as records and information items for information technology service management. The information item contents are defined according to generic document types (description, plan, policy, procedure, report, request, and specification) and the specific purpose of the document. For simplicity of reference, each information item is described as if it were published as a separate document. However, information items may be unpublished but available in a repository for reference, divided into separate documents or volumes, or combined with other information items into one document. ISO/IEC/IEEE 15289:2011 is based on the life cycle processes specified in ISO/IEC 12207:2008 (IEEE Std 12207-2008) and ISO/IEC 15288:2008 (IEEE Std 15288-2008), and the service management processes specified in ISO/IEC 20000-1:2005 and ISO/IEC 20000-2:2005.

Related ISO Standards

The Swedish company Funka, produced a series of instructional videos explaining EN 301 549. Mandate EN 301 549 is a European standard for accessibility requirements in the public procurement of ICT products and services. ICT stands for accessible information and communication technology.

In 2005, the European Commission issued Mandate 376, which sought the assistance of several private European standards organizations in the development of European accessibility guidelines for public ICT procurements. See European Comm., M 376 – Standardisation Mandate to CEN, CENELEC, and ETSI in Support of European Accessibility Requirements for Public Procurement of Products and Services in the ICT Domain (Dec. 7, 2005), available at Specifically, Mandate 376 requested that the three European standards setting bodies —European Committee for Standardization (CEN), European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) — perform two main tasks: development of a set of functional European accessibility requirements for public procurement of ICT products and services; and creation of an electronic toolkit for use by public procurers.  New

In early 2014, the three European standardization organizations completed their development process by formally adopting and publishing the first European set of specifications on e-accessibility for public ICT procurements, EN 301 549. See ETSI/CEN/CENELEC, EN 301 549 V1.1.1 (2014-02), Accessibility Requirements Suitable for Public Procurement of ICT Products and Services in Europe (Feb. 2014), available at Accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe EN 301 549 V1.1.1 (2014-02). The functional accessibility requirements specified in EN 301 549 are “closely harmonized” with the then-current draft revisions Section 508 Standards (i.e., the 2011 ANPRM). Accessible ICT Procurement Toolkit – Frequently Asked Questions, Mandate 376, (last accessed Aug. 23, 2016). Unlike the 508 Standards, however, EN 301 549—by its own terms— establishes only non-binding, voluntary accessibility requirements for public ICT procurements.  New

In October 2016, the European Parliament and Council of the European Union issued Directive 2016/2102, which generally requires EU member states to “ensure that public sector bodies take the necessary measures to make their websites and mobile applications more accessible [to persons with disabilities] by making them perceivable, operable, understandable and robust.” Directive 2016/2102 on the Accessibility of the Websites and Mobile Applications of Public Sector Bodies, Article 4 (Oct. 26, 2016), available at Directive 2016/2102 further provides that, as a general matter, EN 301 549 V1.1.2 (2015-04) serves as the relevant accessibility standard absent future adoption of technical standards or publication of references to harmonized standards by the European Commission. Id. at Article 6. EN 301 549 is thus now available to government officials in EU member states who may use it as technical specifications or award criteria in public procurements of ICT products and services.  New

ISO/IEC 2382-20:1990

  • Information technology — Vocabulary — Part 20: System development

    Serves to facilitate international communication in information processing. Presents English and French terms and definitions of selected concepts as regards the field of information processing and defines relationsships between the entries. The provided concepts concern a system life cycle ranging from the requirements analysis to the implementation including system design and quality assurance.

ISO 3535:1977

  • Forms design sheet and layout chart

    Lays down the basic principles for the design of forms, whether discrete forms or continuous forms, and establishes a forms design sheet and a layout chart based on these principles. Applies to the design of forms for administrative, commercial and technical use, whether for completion in handwriting or by mechanical means such as typewriters and automatic printers.

ISO 5806:1984

ISO 5807:1985

ISO/IEC 8211:1994

  • Information technology — Specification for a data descriptive file for information interchange

    Cancels and replaces the first edition (1985). Specifies an interchange format to facilitate the moving of files or parts of files containing data records between computer systems. Specifies: media-independent file and data record descriptions for information interchange; the description of data elements, vectors, arrays and hierarchies containing character strings, bit strings and numeric forms; a data descriptive file; a data descriptive record; three levels of complexity of file and record structure; FTAM unstructured and structured document types.

ISO/IEC 8631:1989

ISO 8790:1987

ISO/IEC/IEEE 26511:2011

  • Systems and software engineering — Requirements for managers of user documentation

    ISO/IEC 26511:2011 specifies procedures for managing user documentation throughout the software life cycle. It applies to people or organizations producing suites of documentation, to those undertaking a single documentation project, and to documentation produced internally, as well as to documentation contracted to outside service organizations. It provides an overview of the software documentation and information management processes, and also presents aspects of portfolio planning and content management that user documentation managers apply. It covers management activities in starting a project, including setting up procedures and specifications, establishing infrastructure, and building a team. It includes examples of roles needed on a user documentation team. It addresses measurements and estimates needed for management control, and the use of supporting processes such as change management, schedule and cost control, resource management, and quality management and process improvement. It includes requirements for key documents produced for user documentation management, including documentation plans and documentation management plans. ISO/IEC 26511:2011 is independent of the software tools that may be used to produce or manage documentation, and applies to both printed documentation and on-screen documentation. Much of its guidance is applicable to user documentation for systems including hardware as well as software.

ISO/IEC/IEEE 26512:2011

  • Systems and software engineering — Requirements for acquirers and suppliers of user documentation

    ISO/IEC/IEEE 26512:2011 was developed to assist users of ISO/IEC 15288:2008 or ISO/IEC 12207:2008 to acquire or supply software user documentation as part of the software life cycle processes. It defines the documentation process from the acquirer’s standpoint and the supplier’s standpoint. ISO/IEC/IEEE 26512:2011 covers the requirements for information items used in the acquisition of user documentation products: the Acquisition Plan, Document Specification, Statement of Work, Request for Proposals, and the proposal. It provides an overview of the software user documentation and information management processes which may require acquisition and supply of software user documentation products and services. It addresses the preparation of requirements for software user documentation. These requirements are central to the user documentation specification and Statement of Work. It includes requirements for primary document outputs of the acquisition and supply process: the Request for Proposal and the Proposal for user documentation products and services. It also discusses the use of a Documentation Management Plan and a Document Plan as they arise in the acquisition and supply processes. ISO/IEC/IEEE 26512:2011 is independent of the software tools that may be used to produce documentation, and applies to both printed documentation and on-screen documentation. Much of its guidance is applicable to user documentation for systems including hardware as well as software.

ISO/IEC 26513:2009

  • Systems and software engineering — Requirements for testers and reviewers of user documentation

    ISO/IEC 26513:2009 supports the interest of software users in receiving consistent, complete, accurate, and usable documentation. It defines the process in which user documentation products are tested.

    ISO/IEC 26513:2009 is intended for use in all types of organizations, whether or not a dedicated documentation department is present. In all cases, it may be used as a basis for local standards and procedures. Readers are assumed to have experience or general knowledge of testing or reviewing processes.

    ISO/IEC 26513:2009 deals with the evaluation of documentation only, and not with the evaluation of the software it supports. Documentation is also included in evaluation of the software product, as in the ISO/IEC 25000 series of standards, in particular, ISO/IEC 25051:2006 Software engineering — Software product Quality Requirements and Evaluation (SQuaRE) — Requirements for quality of Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) software product and instructions for testing.

    ISO/IEC 26513:2009 is intended neither to encourage nor discourage the use of either printed or electronic (on-screen) media for documentation, or of any particular documentation testing or management tools or methodologies.

    ISO/IEC 26513:2009 specifies processes for use in testing and reviewing of user documentation. It is not limited to the test and review phase of the life cycle, but includes activities throughout the Information Management and Documentation Management processes.

    ISO/IEC 26513:2009 provides the minimum requirements for the testing and reviewing of user documentation, including both printed and on-screen documents used in the work environment by the users of systems software. It applies to printed user manuals, online help, tutorials, and user reference documentation.

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The Web Diva for the Accessible Techcomm website since 2012. Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication. STC member since June 1979. A founder and former webmaster for the STC Special Needs Committee, which became the STC AccessAbility SIG (2001-2011).