In its mission defining an architecture for internet-scale digital trust, the Trust over IP Foundation rightly acknowledges the critical importance of human trust at the business, legal and social layers. However, trust isn’t a tangible thing like code or cryptography. It’s not something we can directly control and doesn’t follow an instruction set. Trust is essentially a social and psychological construct, a feeling – one that can be defined as 'a confident relationship with the unknown.'

Human Trust is more complex than technical trust because it is entirely contextual and relies on offline relationships that cannot be captured as proofs or claims.  Human Trust can not be "built" in the same sense as hardware or software. It is up to others – the public, users, citizens – to give, and needs to be earned through continuously delivering repeatable, reliable experience. Looking through this lens of it being earned, given and received, we can see trust as a currency of social interaction, informed directly by our human experiences. 


The scope of the Human Experience Working Group (HXWG) is naturally that of the Human Trust layers of the ToIP stack (Layers 3 and 4) as opposed to Technical Trust (which is the main focus of Layers 1 and 2). 

The HXWG will be action-orientated and aim to develop insights & practical resources to enable stakeholders in the ToIP community to improve outcomes for those using the products and services they are building. This includes exploring human behaviors; trust rituals across social and cultural contexts; mapping the objects, actors, mental models and actions at play; developing trust-centric best practices of user experience design; and assembling strategic resources that put people at the center of the design and engineering process. By helping the TolP community build ecosystems, governance frameworks, and products and services using inclusive and respectful design practices, the HXWG can act as the glue between the pillars of technology and governance under the Trust over IP stack.

The HXWG aims to actively engage with as diverse an audience as possible, hosting community discussion around the human experience of digital trust and fostering an inclusive environment for the research and curation of human-level trust mechanics as a shared resource for use across domain boundaries. 

The HXWG also has latitude to, with express approval from the Steering Committee, establish an in-residence position to offer guidance and recommendations, as well as directly support the implementations of measures, to address inclusion and diversity issues related to the work being done at Trust over IP. 


The purpose of the HXWG is to examine the design features of digital systems, their governance and the business processes that support them, which make interactions or actors trustable, in the contextual and subjective experience of those using them.  Specifically our purpose is to: 

  1. Improve accessibility and user experience of products and services being made within the ToIP community (and the wider decentralized identity and digital trust community).  

  2. Promote inclusion and diversity by ensuring decentralised identity and digital trust technologies are being designed, built and deployed inclusively, with awareness of wider social contexts & human subjectivity. 

  3. Challenge the status quo to acknowledge and represent all individuals and actors in society, independent of their cultural, social and technological background in each of the dimensions of identity: trust, risk, privacy and security.

  4. Give voice to people by amplifying and articulating human requirements for trusted digital infrastructure and channelling human requirements to other ToIP working groups and the wider community. 


  1. Inclusive by Design. The HXWG’s approach, process, membership and operation shall follow the principles of Inclusive Design to enable the ToIP community to serve the widest possible community of ecosystem participants.  We inherit the ‘Inclusive by Design’ principles of section 2.9 from the Sovrin Governance Framework V2.0 (included in this charter as Appendix D).
  2. Cross pollination in ToIP. The HXWG shall actively seek to inject Human Experience into other ToIP Working Groups and Task Forces 
  3. Respectful by Design.  The HXWG recognizes that diversity of participation is not sufficient to give voice to minority or excluded groups, so we need to find ways of enabling communities to own and control the design process and its outcomes for themselves.

Chairs and Vice Chairs

Chairs: Andrew Slack Andy Woodruff Nicky Hickman


Bentley Farrington

Nicky Hickman 

Kalin Nicolov 

Kimberly Linson 

Phil Wolff

Lal Chandran

Jim St.Clair

Ashraf Abdul

Hannah Sutor

Bo Harald 

How to Join

You can join this WG by adding your name under the Members heading above and/or signing up for our mailing list at Our mailing list is Observers are also welcome (see the caveat below).


For the protection of all Members, participation in working groups, meetings and events is limited to members, including their employees, of the Trust over IP Foundation who have signed the membership documents and thus agreed to the intellectual property rules governing participation. If you or your employer are not a member of ToIP, you may not participate in meetings by verbal contribution or otherwise take any action beyond observing.  To join ToIP and be able to contribute, please fill out the light weight membership application on our website here.


Following are the general categories of deliverables that fall under the HXWG charter. Specific deliverables will be identified as the HXWG moves forward.

  1. Improve accessibility and user experience: Design principles, accessibility standards, best practice UX & HCI examples, and novel human interface guidelines for self-sovereign identity and decentralized digital trust infrastructure.
  2. Promote inclusion and diversity: Ethnographic user research, user model frameworks, toolkits & field guides for framing challenges & building solutions unique to the ToIP stack.
  3. Challenging the status quo: Outside-in definitions through B2C campaign of gathering definitions, experiences and stories about identity, trust, privacy and security.
  4. Giving Voice to People:  business requirements definitions expressed as user stories; customer councils that enable diverse groups to provide input directly into ToIP community roadmap, deliverables and priorities.

The current focus of HXWG is supporting and the ongoing work in the Interaction Pattern Task Force.

The table below lists all HXWG deliverables that have been approved to move beyond Pre-Draft status. WG members are welcome to follow the links to contribute, either by joining the responsible Task Force (TF) or contributing directly to a deliverable document.

Link to HXWG G-Drive 

Name of DeliverableDeliverable TypeLink to
Draft Deliverable
Task ForceStatus

White Paper

Draft Deliverable


Draft Deliverable


Draft Deliverable

Intellectual Property Rights (Copyright, Patent, Source Code)

The HXWG inherits its IPR terms from the JDF Charter. These include:

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