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HF Activity Report 2018-2019

Chairman: 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.

The study of Human Factors applies scientific knowledge about the capacities and limitations of users to make products and services safe, efficient and easy to use. In ETSI we are helping to achieve this objective through the work of our Technical Committee on Human Factors (TC HF).

Increasing the uptake and use of new technologies can benefit both individual members of society and industry. Accordingly, a goal of current human factors research and development is to explore innovative approaches that extend digital inclusion to the widest possible range of users, irrespective of their abilities or impairments.

The Joint Working Group on eAccessibility - which brings us together with the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) - has previously allocated to TC HF the majority of the standardization work required as a result of the European Union’s Directive on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies, commonly known as the Web Accessibility Directive (WAD). The WAD aims to ensure that people with disabilities - especially those with vision, hearing or cognitive impairments - should have better access to public websites, their contents and mobile applications.

Working with CEN and CENELEC, in 2018 we published a new version of the European standard (EN 301 549) on accessibility requirements for ICT products and services that now includes the design of websites and mobile applications. This addresses people with limited cognition, vision issues, hearing or vocal disabilities as well as those with limited manipulation, strength or reach capabilities. 

The updated standard aligns European requirements with the current version of W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. It serves as the primary document to show conformance with essential requirements of the European Web Accessibility Directive (WAD) which applies to public sector websites from September 2019. The standard summarizes technology-neutral requirements that device and service designers must fulfil to make their products accessible to the widest possible range of users.

Work neared completion on user-centred terminology for existing and upcoming ICT devices, services and applications. An ETSI Guide has been produced to extend the terminology and address languages other than English.

In 2018 we also launched work on a report to assess the requirements for ICT standardization to address the needs of citizens and users in smart cities – including accessibility, usability, personalization, interoperability and personal data protection.


  • Revision to Harmonised Standard (EN) on accessibility requirements for ICT products and services
  • ETSI Guide on terminology for ICT devices, services and applications
  • Technical Report (TR) on smart cities and communities standardization for citizens & consumers