TC 13 - Human-Computer Interaction - Aims and Scopes

est. 1989


To encourage development towards a science and a technology of human-computer interaction, the Technical Committee will pursue the following Aims:

*    to encourage empirical research (using valid and reliable methodology, with studies of the methods themselves where necessary);

*    to promote the use of knowledge and methods from the human sciences in both design and evaluation of computer systems;

*    to promote better understanding of the relation between formal design methods and system usability and acceptability;

*    to develop guidelines, models and methods by which designers may be able to provide better human-oriented computer systems;

*    to co-operate with other groups, inside and outside IFIP, so as to promote user-orientation and "humani-zation" in system design. 


The main orientation is toward the users, especially the non-computer-professional users, and how to improve the human-computer relationship for them.

Areas of study include:

*    the problems people have with computers;

*    the impact of computers upon people in both individual and organizational contexts;

*    the determinants of utility, usability and acceptability;

*    the appropriate allocation of tasks between computers and people;

*    modelling the user as an aid to better system design;

*    harmonising the computer to the characteristics and needs of the user.

While the Scope is thus set wide, with a tendency towards general principles rather than particular systems, it is recognised that progress will only be achieved through both general studies to advance theoretical understanding and specific studies on practical issues (e.g. interface design standards, software system consistency; documentation, appropriateness of alternative communication media, human factors guidelines for dialogue design, the problems of integrating multi-media systems to match user needs and organizational practices etc.). 

WG13.1 - Education in HCI and HCI Curriculum
est. 1990, revised 1991


*    to improve HCI education at all levels of higher education;

*    to coordinate and unite efforts to enhance the development of HCI curricula;

*    to recommend fundamental structures for curricula and course materials and for their adaptation to the various national educational systems;

*    to advance international recog-nition of qualifications in this field, and

*    to promote the teaching of HCI 


The scope of the Working Group will build upon existing work in IFIP member countries to include:

*    the evaluation of the needs of industry to enhance the qualifications of HCI, based upon societal objectives to improve the work environment;

*    the collation of existing curricula, course literature and other relevant materials developed by member societies or institutions who are contributing to their work;

*    the design of recommendations and guidelines for HCI curricula at different levels of higher education, and the adaptation of the guidelines to the cultural situation within which the respective education systems are based. 

SIG13.1 - Interaction Design and International Development
est. 2008, migrated to WG 13.8 in 2014

WG13.2 - Methodologies for User-Centered Systems Design
est. 1992


The principal objective of the Working Group will be:

*    to foster research, dissemination of information and good practice in the methodical application of HCI to software engineering.

This objective decomposes into two sub-goals:

*    to encourage research into and development of HCI principles, methods and techniques applied to system design and integrated with principles, methods and tools in software engineering, and

*    to encourage research into human action within the system development process and to promote knowledge transfer from such studies into the construction of integrated HCI-SE design methods. 


*    evaluation and synthesis of HCI specification and design methods;

*    implications of cognitive psychology for the design of human-computer interfaces;

*    evaluation and study of different approaches to design delivery:
cognitive models, design rationales, task artifact cycles, engineering principles, development methods;

*    methods and techniques of human factors in software engineering as practised in industrial environments;

*    human behaviour in software development, i.e. cognitive studies of software engineering;

*    cooperative work techniques applied to software development. 






SIG13.2 - Interaction Design and International Development
est. 2009, migrated to WG 13.9 in 2014



WG13.3 - Human-Computer Interaction and Disability
est. 1992, revised 1994, 2001


The principal objectives of the Working Group will be:

*    to make HCI designers aware of the needs of people with disabilities;

*    to recommend guidelines for the design of HCI to facilitate the use of computers by people with disabilities;

*    to monitor the latest developments in the design of HCI and their impact on accessibility and usability;

*    to encourage the development of information systems and complementary tools which permit the adaptation of the human interface for each specific user. 


There are over 500 million people with disabilities in the world. Social exclusion and many other problems often result from their situation. It is recognised that developments in IT/HCI can often help with problems, for example to maximise choice and integration. However, there is also a danger that such developments can lead to the further exclusion of this user group if they are not designed from the beginning with universal access as an aim.

Working Group 13.3 intends to make designers of information systems and complementary tools aware of the needs of this group in order to encourage the development of more appropriate tools for access and usability. As a result, systems will become universally accessible, and the market for them will increase.

Specifically the scope of WG13.3 will include the following activities:

*    coordination and exchange of information with other relevant bodies;

*    collaboration with institutions interested in this field of HCI and disability;

*    focussed HCI orientation to enable people with disabilities to use information systems and complementary tools for positive advantage.

WG13.4 - (joint with WG2.7; see TC2)
est. 1975, revised 1987, 1991

WG13.5 – Human Error in Resilience, Reliability, Safety
est. 1998, revised 2014


This working group aims to support practitioners, regulators and researchers to develop leading edge techniques in resilience engineering, hazard analysis and safety engineering of interactive computer-based systems. Particular emphasis will be on the role of human error both in the development and in the operation of complex processes and on techniques that can be easily integrated into existing system engineering practices. Specifically, the aims are:

*    to provide a framework for studying human factors that relate to systems failure;

*    to provide a forum for practitioners, regulators and researchers interested in the ‘human contribution’ to major accidents and incidents;

*    to identify leading edge techniques for the development of safety-critical interactive systems and integrate them with existing systems engineering techniques;

*    to support and guide international accreditation activities in the area of safety-critical systems.

*    to address system design within its whole socio-technical and environmental context.


To build on existing work in IFIP member countries in the following areas:

*    techniques for analysing human, managerial and organisational factors that relate to the occurrence of accidents;

*    the integration of human factors concerns into risk analysis and assessment;

*    the integration of human factors concerns into systems engineering techniques for interactive safety-critical systems development;

*    the ergonomics of human-computer interaction with safety-critical applications;

*    the role of human error both in the development and in the operation of complex processes.

WG13.6 - Human-Work Interaction Design
est. 2005


The aims of the HWID working group are:

*    To encourage empirical studies and conceptualisations of the interaction among humans, their variegated social contexts and the technology they use both within and across these contexts.

*    Promote the use  of knowledge, concepts, methods and techniques that enables user studies to procure a better apprehension of the complex interplay between individual, social and organisational contexts and thereby a better understanding of how and why people work in the ways they do.

*    Promote a better understanding of the relationship between work-domain based empirical studies and iterative design of prototypes and new technologies.

*    Establish a network of researchers, practitioners and domain/subject matter experts working within this field.

Thus on an overall level the working group aims at establishing relationships between extensive empirical work-domain studies and HCI design.


To provide the basis for an improved cross-disciplinary co-operation and mutual inspiration among researchers, but it will also lead to a number of new research initiatives and developments, as well as to an increased awareness of HWID in existing HCI educations. Complexity will be a key notion in the working group, it is not a priori defined or limited to any particular domains. A main target of the work group is the analysis of and the design for the variety of complex work and life contexts found in different business.
Technology is changing human life and work contexts in numerous, multi-faceted ways:

*    Interfaces between collaborating individuals; advanced communication networks

*    Small and large-scale distributed systems

*    Multimedia and embedded technologies

*    Mobile technologies and advanced "intelligent" robots

*    With this evolution, toward new ways of working, has followed an intensive demand for techniques and technologies that  address contemporary issues connected to:

*    Communication, collaboration, and problem solving

*    Large information spaces, variability, discretion, learning, and information seeking

This evolution toward new ways of working and living must be embraced as a challenge to current knowledge and practice and one, moreover, which presents exciting new opportunities in:

*    Epistemology, with knowledge acquisition, knowledge creation, management and knowledge sharing

*    The symbiosis of users and contexts of use, between work and life-quality and with both professional and individual development.

It is a challenge to design applications that support users of technology in complex and emergent organisational and work contexts, and thus opportunities exist to focus on methods, theories, tools, techniques and prototype design on an experimental basis.
Under these circumstances, the primary question is less whether we choose to study the use of a particular computer application or prefer, instead, to conduct bottom up empirical experiments of work contexts. The new problem is how we can understand, conceptualise and design for the complex and emergent contexts in which human life and work are now embroiled. This problem calls for cross disciplinary, empirical and theoretical approaches that focus on Human-Work Interaction Design, meaning that the technology itself and particularly the design and use of technologies mediates the interaction between humans and specific work contexts.


WG13.7 – Human - Computer Interaction & Visualization (HCIV)
est. 2008


*    To establish a study and research program that will combine both scientific work and practical applications in the fields of Human – Computer Interaction and Visualization.

*     To promote the development of “effective” visualizations that benefit from the capabilities and functionalities of the human visual system, e.g. visual perception and other cognitive abilities.

*    To promote the development of practical applications, e.g. in engineering, which benefit from the newly developed concepts and which provide the necessary fields for evaluation.

*    To integrate several additional aspects of further research areas, such as Scientific Visualization, Data mining, Information Design, Computer Graphics, Cognition Sciences, Perception Theory, or Psychology, into this approach.

Thus the WG will provide a creative work environment for performing innovative research at the interface between Human – Computer Interaction and Visualization.

WG13.8 – Interaction Design and Children
est. 2008, migrated from SIG 13.1 2014, revised 2015


*    To support and develop the research, practice and education capabilities of HCI in institutions and organisations based around the world taking into account their diverse local needs and cultural perspectives;

*    To promote application of interaction design research, practice and education to address the needs, desires and aspirations of people across the developing world;

*    To research and promote interaction design practice in cross-cultural settings, with a special focus on new and emerging economies;

*    To develop links between the HCI community in general and other relevant communities involved in international development and cross-cultured aspects of ICT development.


WG13.9 – Interaction Design and Children
est. 2013

The focus of the work within Working Group 13.9 is on promoting high quality coordinated research in child computer interaction and in interaction design with children.


This working group aims to support practitioners, regulators and researchers to develop the study of interaction design and children across international contexts.  Specifically it will seek – as a working group – to develop a mature tested set of methods and practices that this academic and practitioner base can use. It will aim:

*    To promote high quality research in child computer interaction and in interaction design with children

*    To provide an accessible international forum and information site for researchers interested in HCI and Interaction
Design where the users are children

*    To coordinate and manage events for IDC researchers and practitioners including, but not limited to, the annual IDC conference and the IDC workshops.


To build on existing work in IFIP member countries in the following areas:

*    The development and refinement of methods for engaging with children in the design of interactive technologies

*    The development and refinement of methods for engaging with children in the evaluation of interactive technologies

*    The role of children as participants in Interaction Design

*    Designing for children from all cultures, with all abilities, talents and economics.

WG13.10 – Human-Centered Technology for Sustainability
est. 2015


This working group aims:

*     to promote research, design, development, evaluation of human-centred technology to encourage sustainable use of resources in various domains. These technologies would include interaction techniques, interfaces and visualizations for applications, tools, games, services and devices.

*     to bring together and stimulate exchanges between, researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers from across different disciplines involved in sustainability through regular events. These disciplines would include computer science, engineering, design, social sciences, etc.

*     to coordinate publication and dissemination of related research output, information, policies, etc.