Open Access

Human aspects of internet services: considering the needs of users and providers

Journal of Internet Services and Applications20111:17

DOI: 10.1007/s13174-010-0017-4

Received: 20 November 2010

Accepted: 1 December 2010

Published: 13 January 2011


This paper discusses the need and possible forms of human interfaces to Internet services, challenging the common notion that Internet services are simply computer-computer systems governed by machine protocols with little need of concern for human issues. We first examine the case where Internet services are provided to human users, showing that the user-system interaction becomes a typical service relationship, which can be better understood in the framework of Service Science. Based on the six basic characteristics of services we explore 15 issues which should be taken in account when designing human interfaces for Internet services. We also depart from traditional HCI by arguing that the fundamental goal of the human interface of an Internet service is to create and maintain a relationship with the user. We then look into Internet services being used by computer applications, where we discuss the need of a backdoor human interface for the maintenance and control people working in the Internet service provision system. Both situations have been little explored by the Internet services or the HCI fields of research.


Internet services Service systems Service science Online services Service interfaces Maintenance interfaces