Human-Computer Interaction: Communication, Cooperation, and Application Design

By Hans-Jörg Bullinger; Jürgen Ziegler | Go to book overview

Evaluate: Review or test results at any stage in the marketplace against defined criteria for success, e.g., conduct focus groups, test usability on specific functions, gather sales and user feedback. Identify and evaluate matches and mismatches, then revise the designs to strengthen effective matches and reduce harmful mismatches. Test prototypes or final products with international, intercultural, or localized user groups to achieve globalized UI designs.

Document: Record development history, issues, and decisions in specifications, guidelines, and recommendation documents. As with other steps, specific sections or chapters of documents that treat globalization issues are required.


3 Guidelines for Globalization

For the appropriate target markets, these guidelines can assist developers in preparing a check-list for their design tasks:

User demographics: Identify national and cultural target markets and segments, then identify possible needs for differentiation of UI components and the probably cost of delivering them. Identify savings by re-use of attributes.

Technology: Determine the appropriate media. Account for international differences to support platform population and software needs, including languages, scripts, fonts, colors, file formats, etc.

Metaphors: Determine optimum minimum number of concepts, terms, and primary images. Check for hidden miscommunication and misunderstanding. Adjust appearance, orientation, and text elements to account for national or cultural differences. For example, for operating system metaphors, ( Chavan 1994) noted Indians relate more easily to concepts of bookshelf, books, chapter, sections, and pages than the desktop, file folders, and files.

Mental models and Navigation: Determine minimum variety to meet requirements, determine cost-benefit, and revise as feasible.

Interaction: Determine minimum variations of input and feedback variations to meet target market requirements. For example, because of Web access-speed differences for users in countries with very slow access, it is usually important to provide text-only versions without extensive graphics and alternative text labels to avoid graphics that take considerable time to appear.

Appearance: Determine minimum variations of visual-verbal attributes. Visual attributes include layout, icons and symbols, typography, and color+ADs- verbal include language, formats, and ordering sequences. For example, Chinese and Japanese contain symbols with many small strokes, which seems to promote tolerance of higher visual information density than typical Western displays.

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