Human Factors and accessibility

Introduction

Human Factors is the scientific application of knowledge about the capacities and limitations of users with the aim of making products, systems, services and environments safe, efficient and easy to use.

The growing complexity of telecommunications services and equipment makes the human element more and more important. Human Factors is a key factor for the commercial success of any telecommunications product or service.

The European Commission's i2010 initiative aims to promote wider access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT).  This is achieved by removing any barriers due to the technology itself and ensuring that the estimated 30% to 40% of the population who do not currently fully benefit from the information society are given the opportunity to do so. ETSI is helping to achieve this objective in technical committee Human Factors (HF) by producing ETSI Guides and recommendations to promote e-accessibility.

Accessibility can be promoted:

  • Design for All approach where products are designed to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for specialized adaptation;
  • Security and personalising the way users connect with products, for example, are critical in achieving eInclusion and eAccessibility. The goal is to enter a new era of ICT where services and devices can be personalised to meet the needs of every user, even when those needs may be different from those of the majority.
     

Download the Human Factors Technology Leaflet

 

 

 

 

Our Role & Activities

Our Technical Committee Human Factors (TC HF) champions the importance of ensuring that developments in technology are usable and accessible to all people in society, including the elderly, the young and those with disabilities. Adopting a ‘Design for All’ approach in product and standards development helps ensure that everyone has effective access to devices, systems and services. By widening access, it also enables European companies to meet the needs of many more users, thus improving their competitive position in global markets.

eInclusion is becoming increasingly important as the EC seeks to provide a regulatory framework for Design for All, which would make its consideration mandatory for manufacturers and service providers.

In response to EC Mandate M/376, HF published, jointly with CEN and CENELEC, an EN which specifies ICT accessibility requirements and testing methods in a form that is suitable for use in public procurement.
We work on the provision of relay services in Europe to take account of the growth of mobile and Internet Protocol (IP)-based communications. Relay services enable people with speech or hearing impairments to communicate with users of standard telephony using other means of communication (such as video or text), either directly or through an interpreter.

We also focus on support for the use of services and devices by people with cognitive impairments. Cognitive impairments are often related to old age, so those who are currently active and taking full advantage of ICT may experience major usability problems and digital exclusion when they are older, unless action is taken now. We are therefore developing guidelines on user interfaces and functionality to enable the effective use of tablets, smartphones etc. by users with a range of cognitive impairments, either on their own or with remote assistance. In addition, we will look at the use of interfaces to help people who cannot read or write.

HF is involved in work in response to the forthcoming EC mandate on cyber security. Other possible topics for the future include a pre-study into the human factors aspects of the services in smart, accessible, sustainable cities and communities, and human factors guidelines for touchscreen keyboards.

We collaborate with SC EMTEL to publish guidelines on the best means of presenting alerting messages to users with special requirements such as the elderly, the very young or those with disabilities.

Standards

The following is a list of the 20 latest published ETSI standards on human factors.

A full list of related standards in the public domain is accessible via the ETSI standards search. Via this interface you can also subscribe for alerts on updates of ETSI standards.

For work in progress see the ETSI Work Programme on the Portal.

Standard No. Standard title.
TR 102 575 Human Factors (HF); An IP-based text telephony solution known as "Reliable RTT"
ES 202 975 Human Factors (HF); Requirements for relay services
EN 301 549 Accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe
EG 202 952 Human Factors (HF); Guidelines to identify "Design for All" aspects in ETSI deliverables
TR 101 552 Guidance for the application of conformity assessment to accessibility requirements for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe
TR 101 550 Documents relevant to EN 301 549 "Accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe"
TR 101 551 Guidelines on the use of accessibility award criteria suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe
EN 301 549 Accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe
TR 102 575 Human Factors (HF); IP-based text telephony - as deployed in Scandinavia (and in some other countries)
SR 001 996 Human Factors (HF); An annotated bibliography of documents dealing with Human Factors and disability
TR 101 568 Human Factors (HF); A study of user context dependent multilingual communications for interactive applications
EG 202 848 Human Factors (HF); Inclusive eServices for all: Optimizing the accessibility and the use of upcoming user-interaction technologies
TR 102 849 Human Factors (HF); Inclusive eServices for all; Background analysis of future interaction technologies and supporting information
SR 001 996 Human Factors (HF); An annotated bibliography of documents dealing with Human Factors and disability
ES 202 642 Human Factors (HF); Personalization of eHealth systems by using eHealth user profiles (eHealth)
TR 102 762 Human Factors (HF); Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS); ICT in cars
EG 202 670 Human Factors (HF); User Experience Guidelines for real-time communication services expressed in Quality of Service terms
TR 102 783 Human Factors (HF); Web-based Guideline and Tutorial System for Real-time Communication Services; QoE (Quality of Experience) expressed in QoS (Quality of Service) terms; Supporting and maintenance information
TR 102 783 Human Factors (HF); Web-based Guideline and Tutorial System for Real-time Communication Services; QoE (Quality of Experience) expressed in QoS (Quality of Service) terms; Supporting and maintenance information
EG 202 670 Human Factors (HF); User Experience Guidelines for real-time communication services expressed in Quality of Service terms