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Human Engineering Design Criteria Standards Part 3: Interim Steps



Susanne M. Furman, Mary Theofanos, Hannah Wald


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires general human systems integration (HSI) criteria for the design and development of human-machine interfaces for the technology, systems, equipment, and facilities employed by its user population. HSI is the relationship between humans and their environment and in particular how systems are designed and used relative to that relationship with the goal of ensuring a safe and effective environment that meets the mission. In general, HSI addresses hardware, software, and processes. However, systematically adopting and applying HSI criteria within DHS will be a challenge because of the department's large and extremely varied user population. The DHS personnel who operate and maintain the department's technology and systems carry out a variety of different tasks in operating environments ranging from airports and border points of entry to subways and Coast Guard vessels. Other DHS users include public health officials; state and local first responders; travelers to be screened; bystanders; and the general public. NIST acknowledges that developing and adopting appropriate HSI standards in these areas will take time - roughly three to five years. This document offers recommendations on steps DHS can take in the relatively near term to improve its usability posture and build an HSI-oriented organizational culture.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7990
Report Number


dhs, homeland security, usability, user-centered design, ucd, human systems integration, hsi


Furman, S. , Theofanos, M. and Wald, H. (2014), Human Engineering Design Criteria Standards Part 3: Interim Steps, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed April 24, 2024)
Created March 31, 2014, Updated October 12, 2021