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Voluntary Standards Cover the Spectrum: from Computer Action Icons to Cold-Formed Steel Framing

New York, Sep 25, 2006

In an effort to communicate the vital role that standards play in daily life, ANSI Online will publish, on an ongoing basis, a series of snapshots of the diverse standards initiatives undertaken in the global and national standards arena, many of which are performed by ANSI members and ANSI-accredited standards developers. Two of the latest selections follow:

Computer Action Icons
From traffic symbols and illustrated product safety instructions to no-smoking signs and computer icons, graphic symbols visually guide many aspects of daily life. Subcommittee 35, User Interfaces, of Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC 1) has developed a standard for computer action items—the symbols on menu toolbars that allow computer users around the globe to “cut,” “print,” and perform numerous other common functions with the simple click of the mouse.

JTC 1 was formed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to develop international standards in the field of information technology. The International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) serves as ANSI’s Technical Advisory Group to the committee.

Designed to ensure visually clear, logical, and intuitively understood action icons, INCITS/ISO/IEC 11581-6-1999 (R2006), Information Technology - User System Interfaces and Symbols - Icon Symbols and Functions - Part 6: Action Icons, guides the appearance, arrangement, and selection of these graphic symbols. The icon functions and graphics included in the standard were selected on the basis of their common use across contemporary platforms and applications.

The document also offers appropriate variations to action items in situations where fundamental differences in languages may cause confusion. For instance, for languages oriented from top to bottom, align text action icons may be rotated ninety degrees clockwise. To ensure ease-of use, the standard calls for clear and consistent visual discrimination between icons that represent available and unavailable options.

Cold-Formed Steel Framing
During the last several years, the construction industry has seen an increase in the use of cold-formed steel (CFS) framing, particularly in the burgeoning housing market. Cold-formed steel framing materials are thinner, lighter, and generally less expensive than the hot-formed steel alternative. ANSI member the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) works to advance these products in the market by developing industry standards for CFS products and materials.

ANSI/AISI COFS/PM-2006, Standard for Cold-Formed Steel Framing – Prescriptive Method for One and Two Family Dwellings, is part of a series of AISI standards designed to increase the reliability and cost competitiveness of cold-formed steel framing and to open the door to a wider variety of design options and building products. The standards provide guidance for the design and development communities, code officials, and building inspectors. ANSI/AISI COFS/PM-2006 lays out a prescriptive design approach and includes extensive requirements that take into account high wind factors and seismic risk.

The standard was developed by the AISI Committee on Framing Standards, an ANSI-accredited consensus standards body that develops and maintains AISI design and installation standards.

This "standards snapshot" was made possible by the steady stream of press information disseminated by standards developing organizations to keep the ANSI Federation abreast of their achievements. As the Institute receives news of published voluntary standards and voluntary standards initiatives with broad appeal and impact, similar articles will be posted to the ANSI Online News page. Please continue to forward your updates to the Communications and Public Relations department at (f) 212.398.0023 or (e) For additional information on the wide array of standards applications, see the Media Tips and Case Studies section of the Institute's website.

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