Technical Committee (TC) Human Factors (HF) Activity Report 2022

Chair: Matthias Schneider, Volkswagen AG

Responsible for developing standards, guidelines and reports relating to end-user aspects and accessibility 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. 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 people with accessibility needs.

TC HF coordinates the majority of standardization activities under the responsibility of the CEN/CENELEC/ETSI Joint Working Group on eAccessibility.

The committee has a central coordination role in ETSI and with CEN and CENELEC on activities relating to the new standardization request from the EC to the ESOs (Mandate M/587), regarding the accessibility requirements of products and services in support of European Accessibility Act. 

Activity in 2022 notably included the publication of these deliverables:

  • A new Technical Report TR 103 708 ‘Real-Time Text (RTT) in Multiparty Conference Calling’ that establishes user guidelines for RTT conference call interfaces.
  • Revisions to ETSI Guide EG 203 499 V2.1.2 ‘User-centred terminology for existing and upcoming ICT devices, services and applications; Device and service terminology’, with the addition of 14 major languages widely spoken in Europe to make a total of 19 languages covered. Terminology tables are also available at ETSI Forge.

Work was also planned on revisions to the standard EN 301 549 ‘Accessibility requirements for ICT products and services’ in order to align with new requirements of the Standardization Request related to the European Accessibility Act and upcoming WCAG 2.2 of W3C. A project space for the drafting of EN 301 549 v4.1.1 in GitLab is available to ETSI, CEN and CENELEC members and stakeholders at

Development of a new Technical Report ‘Examination of Video Game Usability and Accessibility’ was completed during the year, with publication scheduled by early 2023.

Throughout 2022 TC HF continued its participation in the CEN/CENELEC/ETSI Joint Working Group on eAccessibilty (JWG eAcc), operating under Mode 5 of the CEN-CENELEC-ETSI Cooperation Agreement. New Officials were elected for this JWG eAcc, and its Terms of Reference revised to cover the M/587 mandate on accessibility requirements for ICT products and services specifically, with the corresponding future revision of EN 301 549 4.1.1, due to be published in 2025.

The committee has coordinated work within ETSI (including TC EMTEL and SC USER) and with CEN CENELEC, to comment on and prepare for the Standardization Request related to accessibility requirements for products and services in support of the Directive (EU)2019/882, also known as the European Accessibility Act (EAA). The corresponding Mandate M/587 has been formally accepted by the ESOs which have communicated their Joint Working Programme to the European Commission.

The committee also liaised with W3C regarding the alignment of EN 301 549 with W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.2) once these will be finally published in 2023. 

In coordination with ETSI OCG – AI group, the committee has also proposed ways to address the standardisation needs related to human factors aspects for Artificial Intelligence systems, such as the requirements for human oversight and for trustworthy user information stated in the draft AI Act.

Finally, TC HF has contributed to making ETSI’s own standardization processes more accessible and inclusive, by proposing a new ETSI accessibility policy that was approved by ETSI General Assembly at its #80 meeting.

See a full list of TC HF Work Items currently in development here.