Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Making Biometric Systems Usable Let's Not Forget the User



Mary F. Theofanos, Brian C. Stanton


The use of physical identifiable characteristics (biometrics) in border and transportation security has increased since 9/11. Currently, the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) program collects a right and left index fingerprint from all foreign travelers entering the US. While deployment of biometric technologies has increased, little attention has been given to the human computer interaction (HCI) of such devices. HCI and usability guidelines are well established for desktop systems, applications and Web applications that allow developers to design systems according to HCI principles and established baselines. However, no such HCI guidelines exist for biometric systems. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate recognized this need and initiated a program with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop HCI guidelines and standards for biometric systems.
Defense Systems Standards Journal


Biometrics, usability, fingerprint quality, error, uncertainty


Theofanos, M. and Stanton, B. (2007), Making Biometric Systems Usable Let's Not Forget the User, Defense Systems Standards Journal (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created December 31, 2007, Updated February 17, 2017