Specialist Task Force 285:
Enabling and Improving the Use of Mobile e-Services
We developed two ETSI Human Factors Guides:
EG 202 417: Human Factors; User education guidelines for
mobile terminals and e-services; and
EG 202 416: Human Factors; User Interfaces; Setup procedure design guidelines
for mobile terminals and e-services
Who we are:
Team Leader : Bruno von Niman
Team Members : Martin Böcker
Both ETSI Guides have been
published and the STF is under closure, following the performance of final
reporting to ETSI TC HF, the EC and EFTA
The final documents are
available through the links below.
What we do :
We developed two ETSI Human Factors
EG 202 417: Human Factors; User
education guidelines for mobile terminals and e-services; and
EG 202 416: Human Factors; User Interfaces; Setup procedure design
guidelines for mobile terminals and e-services
The work item
references in the ETSI Work Programme (Human Factors) for these actions are:
||“User Interface Design Guidelines for Mobilee-Services” (will be published as EG 202417,“Human Factors; User Interfaces; Setup procedure design guidelines for mobile terminals and e-services)
||“Guidelines on User Education for Mobile Terminals and e-Services” (will be published as EG 292 416, “Human Factors: user education guidelines for mobile terminals and e-services”.
Why we do it:
Information and communication technologies (ICT) play a key role in the
everyday life of many people and mobile communication services are a mass market
(in 2004, at least 80% of EU citizens were using them).
New applications and e-services are increasingly used to perform necessary or
entertaining tasks. Connectivity and interoperability between telecommunications
networks, personal computing, the Internet and ever-smarter mobile devices and
e-services offer enormous potential for improving life, if used as intended and
used by all. Users who cannot understand and learn how to efficiently set
up, configure and use their devices, e-services and integrated or additionally
offered applications will be permanently excluded from the e-Society.
Ensuring access to mobile communication for all is a common goal of vendors,
operators, service providers, user associations, as well as policy makers, often
talking about the creation of the e-inclusive information society.
In the past, the question of the “digital divide” defined the “haves” and
“have-nots” mainly in economic terms, dividing those who can afford new
technology from those who cannot. Technological progress in network and
infrastructure deployment and manufacturing and economy-of-scale effects in
household availability and service provision make access to e-services
affordable to the largest proportion of the European society. In the mean time,
a new facet of a possible “digital divide” becomes visible, namely the one that
is related to the comprehension of how to use new devices and e-services. This
latter aspect of the “digital divide” has direct economic and societal
consequences as the uptake of mobile e-services will only be at a successful
level if the new devices and e-services can actually be accessed, set up and
used by the European citizens.
Many users of mobile services experience serious difficulties trying to set up,
configure and access data services like e-mail, Internet or messaging (SMS,
MMS, voicemail) through their mobile devices. Users lack the expertise
necessary to configure and set up their devices, services and applications
appropriately. Furthermore, even the configuration of device properties to the
desired behavior is often beyond the users' abilities.
These obstacles to a full use of fixed and mobile broadband ICT e-services are
even more emphasized by a number of developments in society:
Changing population demographics: The number of elderly people and people
with special needs is growing rapidly, requiring additional support and
dedicated efforts for those unable to cope with every day’s technology.
- Population mobility: As more and more people access e-services from mobile
devices only offering limited user interface capabilities, it is required to
optimize the user experience of terminals with focus on service access and use
of the accessed e-services themselves.
- Increasing user expectations: Users are getting used to plug-and-play
systems with fully configured components. Similar, natural expectations are
automatically projected to mobile e-services and must therefore be addressed.
- Advanced e-services deployed with a social interest (e.g. telecare
services) without a certain level of pre-requisites these often advanced
e-services build on (e.g. comfort of use, development of a trusted relation,
basic skills and familiarity), such e-services will not be able to launch.
- Access to e-services by all: In order to close the accessibility gap
between technology-aware and conservative or less skilled user groups, it is
necessary to offer access to e-services for everyone.
- Increasing variability in the segmentation of customers: from children at
the age of 6 or 7 years to senior users aged over 80, members of the entire
community will develop specific reasons and request access to broadband
- User’s inability and lack of interest to cover important (but in a normal,
user-centred, functionality-oriented scenario, less relevant) aspects of their
communication such as security aspects: according to recent reports (Gartner
Group Conference 2004: IT Security Summit), more than two thirds of the
successful hacker attacks on wireless clients are due to unsatisfactory
configuration of access points and clients.
- Human resource limitations: the complexity of mobile e-services exceeds
the ability of many users while personal assistance and support cannot be
easily offered at an affordable cost.
As the hurdle to using remote services is the highest for first-time users
with limited capabilities, there is a need to simplify first access to services
as much as possible, provide clear guidance on configuration and use, as well as
providing a clear description of service features and the limitations of
Therefore, understandable set-up procedures and the availability of educational
material become very important. Even with fully automated set-up procedures,
user guides and quick reference guides will be necessary for day-to-day use, as
fully self-explanatory user interfaces are far from becoming reality on today's
devices with their user interface restrictions and limitations. Furthermore,
human memory is far from perfect - users will always have a tendency to forget
already learned usage procedures or specific subsets of them (e.g. passwords or
commands) over time.
From the perspective of digitally networked homes and society and in order to be
able to make proper use of the smart solutions and devices deployed, it becomes
more important than ever that users are enabled to understand access and use the
offered capabilities. Future architectures assume that users will select service
providers independently of the access mechanism, roam between delivery networks,
based upon their subscription profiles and define their service needs with
regard to the quality, security, privacy and cost of the service. We believe
this goal is nearly impossible to achieve, if the generic user knowledge level
is not increased and the complexity of set-up and configuration procedures not
The improved user education helps end users to discover, understand and make use
of new and existing e-services. Consequently, this also benefits service and
network operators through increased service uptake. In addition, this will also
benefit society as a whole by ensuring improved access to mobile information and
communications technologies (ICT) for consumers who might otherwise be excluded
(e.g. elderly users or users with impairments).
Operators of e-services and applications will benefit directly, as many features
that are under-used today may generate more ARPU in the future if better user
instructions help users to discover these features. Furthermore, the necessity
for user support is expected to be reduced.
The obvious benefits for all end users will be reflected by a reduced digital
divide, opening up access to and the use of the potential of future systems and
e-services in the information society for all.
Time plan for the work
||Start of work
||First drafts available
||Conference presentation at HCI International 2005
|September 19, 2005
||First public workshops (Mobile HCI, Salzburg, Austria)
||November, 2005Conference presentations: IEEE Mobility 2005 (also second public workshop), 3G World Congress 2005
|March 20, 2006
||Third public workshop at HFT 2006, organized together with TCeurope
|May 4-5, 2006
||Final public consensus workshop (hosted by BenQ in Munich, Germany)
||Final drafts for ETSI TC HF approval
|July- August 2006
||ETSI Membership Approval Procedure (vote)
|September- December 2006
||Dissemination and industry presentation activities
How to contact us:
If you would like more information,
please contact the STF Leader through email:
Note: this information is based upon STF working assumptions.
The views expressed do not necessarily represent the position of ETSI in this
Last updated: 2010-02-18 10:21:47