ISO 9241-161:2016
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Ergonomics of human-system interaction -- Part 161: Guidance on visual user-interface elements


ISO 9241-161:2016 describes visual user-interface elements presented by software and provides requirements and recommendations on when and how to use them. This part of ISO 9241 is concerned with software components of interactive systems to make human-system interaction usable as far as the basic interaction aspects are concerned.

ISO 9241-161:2016 provides a comprehensive list of generic visual user-interface elements, regardless of a specific input method, visualization, and platform or implementation technology. The guidance given in this part of ISO 9241 is intended to be used in conjunction with ISO 9241 guidance on dialogue techniques. It recognizes that additional elements can evolve. It also addresses derivates, compositions (assemblies) and states of user-interface elements. It gives requirements and recommendations on selection, usage and dependencies of user-interface elements and their application. It is applicable regardless of a fixed, portable or mobile interactive system.

It does not provide detailed coverage of the methods and techniques required for design of user-interface elements. This part of ISO 9241 does not address implementation (e.g. graphical design of elements) and interaction details for specific input methods or technologies. It does not cover decorative user-interface elements that are intended to address solely aesthetic (hedonic) qualities in the user interface, e.g. background images.

The information in this part of ISO 9241 is intended for use by those responsible for the selection and implementation of visual user-interface elements in interactive systems and for evaluating user interfaces. It is intended for use by those planning and managing platform specific aspects of user interface screen design. It also provides guidance for human factors/ergonomics and usability professionals involved in human-centred design. It addresses technical issues only to the extent necessary to allow users of this part of ISO 9241 to understand the relevance and importance of a consistent interface element usage and selection in the design process as a whole.

Annex A provides a guide to selection of different visual user interface elements depending of their appropriate application.


  • Document published on: 2016-02-15
    Edition: 1 (Monolingual) ICS: 35.180; 13.180
    Status: Published Stage: 60.60 (2016-02-17)
    TC/SC: ISO/TC 159/SC 4 Number of Pages: 69
  • This standard has not been revised

  • No corrigenda or amendments available

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