HCI International 2016
Toronto, Canada, 17 - 22 July 2016
The Westin Harbour Castle Hotel
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T05: Cross-Cultural HCI/User-Experience Design: What are the Differences and Similarities of User Preferences, including China?

Sunday, 17 July 2016, 14:00 - 17:30

Aaron Marcus (short bio)
Aaron Marcus and Associates (AM+A), Berkeley, California, United States


Participants in this tutorial will:

  • Learn how cultural dimensions relate to the design of user-interface components (metaphors, mental models, navigation, interaction, and appearance).
  • Learn new terms and concepts to understand culture and dimensions of culture (e.g., power distance, individualism/collectivism, masculinity/femininity, uncertainty avoidance, and time orientation)
  • Learn about additional culture dimensions, models, and dimensions (e.g., persuasion, trust, intelligence, cognition) that must be considered.
  • Learn practical trade-offs from studying several multi-national companies' Web efforts, best-of-breed set of culture dimensions derived from expert opinions, how mobile devices from Asia and the USA exhibit culture differences, examples of culture differences and similarities of Web 2.0 and social networking Websites, how cultural analysis can help localization of software before translation, and how cultural analysis can benefit multi-cultural, multi-discipline, multi-national development teams.

Participants will become familiar with the theories of user-centered user-experience design, culture theory, and the merging of these developments in the current state of product/services, including deskstop and mobile applications. Issues discussed will include those from key technology, social, business, culture, and UI/UX design. Concepts covered to assist professionals to design more effectively are these:

  • User Analysis: Specification of user demographics and user-environment, user modeling, task analysis, and business objectives
  • Metaphors: Easy recognized and remembered, fundamental concepts conveyed through words, signs, and images
  • Mental models: Appropriate organization of data, functions, tasks, roles and people
  • Navigation of mental model: Efficient movement within the mental model via windows, menus, dialogue boxes, or control panels
  • Interaction: Effective input and output-feedback sequencing
  • Appearance: Quality visual, acoustic, and touch characteristics
  • Information Visualization: Tables, charts, maps, and diagrams
  • Basic visual design: Scale, proportion, rhythm, symmetry, and balance
  • Cross-cultural communication: fundamental theories and dimensions
  • User-centered design process

Participants will learn practical, immediately useful principles/techniques.

Content and Benefits:

This tutorial summarizes key concepts of user-centered design (UCD) for use experiences, then focuses on cross-cultural communication an design issues. User experiences (UX) and human-computer interfaces (HCI) for desktop, Web, mobile, and vehicle platforms that reach across culturally diverse user communities, even within a single country/language group, and certainly across the globe. If UXs/HCIs are to be usable, useful, and appealing to such a wide range of users, UX/HCI developers must account for cultural expectations and preferences in globalizing/localizing products and services. In this tutorial, participants will learn practical principles and techniques that are immediately useful in terms of both analysis and design tasks. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss each section and topic as time permits. There will also be short quizzes.

This tutorial is being given after the recent publication of Mr. Marcus’ latest books, Mobile Persusaion Design and HCI/User-Experience Design: Fast Forward to the Past, Present, and Future, both published in late 2015 by Springer UK. Each book touches upon cross-cultural HCI/UX design. The books contain the most complete case studies of each of the ten Machine projects ever published and the complete essays that originally appeared in Interactions magazine. Participants may be entitled to a special discounts on purchases of the books.

Detailed Lecture Descriptions and Allocation of Time

Lecture 0: Introduction to instructor and tutorial (15 minutes)
This period will introduce the presenter and discuss how the techniques that will be discussed fit into the user-interface development process, including an introduction to globalization/localization issues. We’ll show several examples of questionable cross-cultural communication and discuss several cultural anthropological theories briefly. We’ll ask for participants’ own experiences in difficulties of communicating across cultural boundaries.

Lecture 1: Cross-Cultural UX Design (about 60 minutes)
Illustrated lectures will introduce each of five dimensions of culture: (power distance, individualism vs. collectivism, masculinity vs. femininity, uncertainty avoidance, and long-term time orientation. For each dimension, we shall explain the characteristics and their potential impact of work, education, and family life, and show examples of Websites from different countries, but with the same subject matter that demonstrate indigenous cultural characteristics.

We shall examine, also, several major businesses and consumer Websites for multi-national corporations from several countries (USA: McDonald’s, Coke; Korea: Samsung; Germany: Siemens) and discuss the apparent tradeoffs of “universal” vs. localized solution for user-interface components per culture dimensions. A culture model was used to analyze variations in user-interface components of corporate global Website designs for a dozen B2B and B2C companies, including Siemens, Peoplesoft, McDonalds, and Coca-Cola. In addition, we discuss a survey of 60 professional analysts of culture and user-interface design, which resulted in a composite set of 19 culture dimensions and the top five that emerged from the study to serve as a practical set for culture analysis of user interfaces.

Lecture 2: Mobile Phone Trends and Cross-Cultural UX Design (15 minutes)
Illustrated lecture will summarize selected trends in mobile phone products and cite culture differences in example products/services from the US, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and the US.

Lecture 3: Cultural Analysis of Arabic Websites (15 minutes)
We shall a case study of analyzing different cultures of a corporation’s sites in different countries to assist the client in developing tools to improve commnication, cooperation, and collaboration.

Lecture 4: Culture Audit Before Translation (15 minutes)
Illustrated lecture will show how analysis of concepts, text, imagery, and symbolism of a user-interface before translation can identify problemmatic areas that should never be translated in the first place.

Lecture 5: Emerging Chinese UX Design Trends (about 60 minutes)
We investigate the emerging trends in Chinese Web and mobile products/services that distinguish them from Western examples and speculate on the emergence of a new approach to UX design based on Chinese culture.

Exercise 1: Analyze Cross-Cultural Conversations (15 minutes)
Groups may study one of approximately eight cross-cultural textual dialogues and attempt to understand the hidden cultural messages. Then, the participants will examine the explanation of what is happening between two people and report their findings and their misconceptions to the rest of the participants. Discussion will follow depending on the findings.

Bio Sketch of Presenter:

Mr. Marcus has been researching and designing user-experiences since 69. He received a BA in Physics from Princeton University (1965) and a BFA and MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University Art School (1968). He is an internationally recognized authority on the design of user interfaces, interactive multimedia, and printing/publishing documents. Mr. Marcus has given tutorials at HCII, SIGGRAPH, SIGCHI, HFES, UXPA and other conferences, and at seminars for businesses and academic institutions around the world. He published 23 books and more than 300 articles, including Human Factors and Typography for More Readable Programs (1990), The Cross-GUI Handbook (1994), Mobile TV: Customizing Content and Context (2010), Graphic Design for Electronic Documents and User Interfaces (1992), The Past 100 Years of the Future: UX in Sci-Fi Movies and Television (2012), Mobile Persuasion Design (2015), and HCI/User-Experience Design: Fast Forward to the Past, Present, and Future (2015). Mr. Marcus was the world’s first professional graphic designer to be involved full-time in computer graphics (1967), to program a desktop publishing system (for the AT&T Picturephone, 1969-71), to design virtual realities (1971-73), and to establish an independent computer-based user-interface and information-visualization firm (1982). In 1992, he received the National Computer Graphics Association Industry Achievement Award for contributions to computer graphics. In 2008, the AIGA named him a Fellow; in 2009, CHI elected him to the CHI Academy. He is a Visiting Professor, Institute of Design, IIT, Chicago, and College of Design and Innovation, Tongji University, Shanghai.

Mr. Marcus is Principal of Aaron Marcus and Associates, a user-interface and information-visualization development firm with more than 34 years of experience in helping people make smarter decisions faster, at work, at home, at play, and on the way. AM+A), has developed user-centered, task-oriented solutions for complex computer-based design and communication challenges for clients worldwide on all major platforms (client-server networks, the Web, mobile devices, appliances, and vehicles), for most vertical markets, and for most user communities within companies and among their customers. AM+A has served corporate, government, education, and consumer-oriented clients to meet their needs for usable products and services with proven improvements in readability, comprehension, and appeal. AM+A uses its well-established methodology to help them plan, research, analyze, design, implement, evaluate, train, and document metaphors, mental models, navigation, interaction and appearance. AM+A has developed ten concept designs for mobile persuasion design, documented in Mobile Persuasion Design (2015). AM+A’s mobile-oriented clients include BMW, DaimlerChrysler, HP, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Sabre, Samsung, SAP, and Siemens.

He has written chapters/case studies for seven Handbooks of UI design, information appliances, and culture; has presented lectures/organized panels about cross-cultural user-experience design, mobile persuasion design, culture, and science- fiction, and HCI since 1980. He is Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of User Experience, Editor of Information Design Journal, and an editorial board member of Visible Language and the International Journal of HCI.


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Last revision date: May 23, 2024 by web@hcii2016.org