Specialist Task Force 604:
Extension of User-centred terminology
for existing and upcoming ICT devices, services and applications
Who we are:
What we do
This Specialist Task Force (STF) is an EC/EFTA co-funded project that
spans over a period ranging from March 2021 to June 2022. Its main aim
is to develop a set of user-centred, accessible and harmonized
terminology recommendations intended to improve the overall user
experience and accessibility.
The work is covering commonly used, basic ICT features of current and
upcoming ICT devices, services and applications, focusing on a mobile
context. It proposes a user-centered, harmonized terminology of mobile
ICT device (4 groups) and service and applications (12 groups)
functions, focusing on communication in mobile contexts of use.
This STF can be seen as a follow-up of STF 540 which has established and
published the first version of the ETSI Guide 203 499 (
) in August 2019 applied to five languages: English, French,
German, Italian and Spanish.
The main focus of STF 604 focus is in expanding the current list of
available languages for the terms for the terms defined in the first
version of EG 203 499. As a first task, the STF will decide on which
additional languages will be added to the five ones already available:
it is estimated that 14 additional languages may be added based on the
number of their current native speakers in the EU.
The STF 604 work will result in a new version of ETSI EG 203 499.
For more details, see our Terms of Reference.
Why we do it
Effective access to ICT will depend on the user being able to understand
all of the features (such as the controls and capabilities) of the
products and services that are and will be provided by ICT actors. In
order to discover and understand these features, a user must first
identify and recognize them. The names of these features are therefore a
primary means by which a user can recognize and understand them.
If product and service features are poorly named, or if a familiar
feature is named differently to the way that a user has previously
encountered that feature, the user is likely to fail to recognize and
understand it. If users fail to recognize and understand it, they are
unlikely to be able to use it effectively. Learning to use ICT will
always require a user to identify and then memorize the names of the
various product features. This will always be a significant task for all
users, but for older users and users with learning or intellectual
disabilities this initial memorization task will be more challenging
than for other users.
Having terms with clear and well understood meanings will aid this
initial memorization task. However, if the terms for features are
different from product to product, users will need to learn that
multiple terms refer to the same underlying feature and will need to
understand which name is used in which product (or in the worst case in
different parts of the same product). This additional complexity will
disproportionally disadvantage those older users and users with learning
or intellectual disabilities who have impaired memory and comprehension
Terminology deals with terms and their use (a term is a name for an
object). In most cases, the terms used for everyday objects have
developed over the centuries and are taught to children as some of the
words that make up their mother tongue. Problems arise when new objects
(e.g. new ICT services or device functionalities) are given names that
are not self-explanatory or immediately understood. The situation gets
worse when different manufacturers or service providers use different
terms for identical functionalities. This hampers the detection and
uptake of those features and functionalities and hinders an easy
migration of users between terminals and services of different
Simple dictionary-based translation of the terms used for ICT functions
from one language to another will not produce optimum results and will,
in some cases, lead to the use of terms that are confusing or ridiculous
(the user instructions of some products produced in East Asia are a
legendary example of how such dictionary translations can produce
incomprehensible and sometimes comical results).
How we do it
The STF is integrated within the Work Programme of the Human Factors
Technical Committee (HF TC).
The working method of STF 604 has to main components:
Apart from the task related to the STF project management and reporting
(Tasks 1 and 6), the STF works on the development of the main
deliverable of the STF (i.e. a new version of the ETSI Guide EG 203 499)
and on the dissemination of the STF results within the following tasks:
- To identify and interact with localised domain experts, briefing
them on the methodology used for the development of EG 203 499 and
providing any assistance needed during the development of
terminologies in their respective languages.
- To organise stakeholder meetings in order to ensure the support of
relevant players such as device manufacturers, application
providers, and users with disabilities.
- T2 Selection of languages covered and
identification of language experts
- T3 Development of tables of localised terms in
the target languages & initial draft deliverable
- T4 Consultation and Dissemination activities
- T5 Validation Workshops and final draft of
DEG/HF-203 499 (S + 11 to S + 16).
The following ETSI Guide (EG) is developed:
- EG 203 499 Human Factors (HF); User-centred
terminology for existing and upcoming ICT devices, services and
The STF runs from March 2017 to January 2018. The following
milestones have been agreed:
/ Milestone / Deliverable
|| Early draft of DEG/HF-203 499 to be made available for
Progress Report to be approved by TC HF
|30 June 2021
||Interim Report to the EC/EFTA to be made available and
approved by TC HF and ETSI Secretariat
|| 31 January 2022
||Progress Report to be approved by TC HF
Final draft of DEG/HF-203 499 to be approved by TC HF and
submitted to ETSI member vote
||Final report to the EC/EFTA to be made available and approved
by TC HF and ETSI Secretariat
Publication of DEG/HF-203 499. STF closed.
|30 June 2022
To contact us, please send an email to the STF leader: firstname.lastname@example.org