Technical Committee (TC) Human Factors (HF) Activity Report 2020

Chair: Matthias Schneider, Audi AG

Responsible for developing standards, guidelines and reports relating to end-user aspects of information and communication technology systems, products and services.

Human Factors is the scientific application of knowledge about human capacities and limitations to make products, systems, services and environments effective, efficient and easy for everyone to use. It is a key factor for the commercial success of any ICT product or service in the digital networked economy.

In ETSI we are helping to achieve these objectives through the work of our Technical Committee on Human Factors (TC HF). The committee has primary responsibility to produce standards, guidelines and reports that set the criteria necessary to embed optimum usability in the emerging digital networked economy (DNE).

TC HF co-operates with other groups within ETSI and outside to assist in the production of standards and other deliverables in accordance with good Human Factors practice. Within ETSI it has a special responsibility for ‘Design for All’, addressing all users including young children, seniors and disabled people.

Local communities are essentially users of standards, rather than active participants in the process of standardization. As a result, standards can be confusing for them, and the needs of the citizen must be addressed in standards processes. With the support of the European Commission and EFTA, in 2020 we issued a Technical Report [TR 103 455] assessing different citizen-related issues that smart city-related standardization in the ICT domain needs to address. These include fundamental aspects such as accessibility, usability, interoperability, personal data protection and security, and how services to citizens are to be designed to maximize benefits to the community. Providing an overview of existing ETSI and other SDO standards in the field, the study aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 – ‘Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’.

We also published updates to our Harmonised Standard on ‘Accessibility requirements for ICT products and services’ [EN 301 549], created by TC HF and the eAccessibility Joint Working Group (JWG) with CEN and CENELEC. This standard addresses people with limited cognition, vision issues, hearing or vocal disabilities as well as those with limited manipulation, strength or reach capabilities.


  • Technical Report on multi-party conference calling specification, supporting RTT (real time texting) over multi-party telephony VoIP calls
  • Revision to ETSI Guide [EG 203 499] on User-centred terminology for existing and upcoming ICT devices, services and applications, extending the coverage to 14 more European languages
  • Revision of EN 301 549 to align with WCAG 2.2, and in response to standardization requests for the European Accessibility Act.
  • Revision of two Technical Reports on accessibility requirements for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe