Some Research on User Interface Standards

The Task

I have been asked to put together a working group to put together user interface standards. Initial discussions are that we will need to come up with different standards for different environments, like portal sites, websites, custom applications, mobile applications and off the shelf applications. So… I have done some research on the areas of user interface standards, usability, and user experience.

Some Definitions

Wikipedia was a big help. Here is what I found there.

  • User Interface – also known as Human Computer Interface, user interface is the aggregate of means by which people interact with the system. The user interface provides means of input ( allowing the users to manipulate a system) and output (allowing the system to indicate the effects of the users’ manipulation)
  • Usability – the ease with which people can employ a particular tool or other human-made object in order to achieve a particular goal
  • User Experience – a term used to describe the overarching experience a person has as a result of their interactions with a particular product or service
  • Human Interface –

Existing Standards

I know this is material that has been covered by other companies. Here is what I have found available that other groups have compiled.

Other Standards

These are some other user interface standards that I have heard mentioned in other articles onbline, but could not find any links directly to them.

  • DIN 66234 part 8 standard – 1988
  • The Data Company’s standard
  • Motif™ style guide [OSF 1990] 167
  • OPEN LOOK™ [Sun Microsystems 1990] 404
  • Smith and Mosier [1986] guidelines 485


These seem like two promising conferences about user web usability.


Here are two organizations I found that focus on Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and usability. I hav just joined the UPA, and plan on re-joining the ACM.


Amazon is a cornucopia of information on user interface standards, usability, and user experience. I have most of these books, and plan on getting the others soon.

Link Roll

Lots of good sites out there about usability and user experience.

If there are any sources that you use that I have not included, please leave a comment and let me know what it is.

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