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Usability Standard Achieves International Status

July 26, 2005

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Contact: Michael Baum

Software that is poorly designed, inappropriate for specific tasks or just difficult to use can be frustrating, unproductive and costly for both businesses and individuals. To help remedy the problem, computer scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have been working for several years with private industry, including The Boeing Co., Oracle Corp., and Microsoft Corp. to develop a standard way to test and evaluate software usability. The resulting effort, the Common Industry Format (CIF) for Usability Test Reports, recently was approved as a worldwide standard by the Software and Systems Engineering Committee of the International Organization for Standardization. For more information on CIF, see www.nist.gov/iusr.