and China - A Case for KANSEI Engineering?
Girish Prabhu and Dan Harel
Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, NY 14650, USA
Previous research ( Choong and Salvendy, 1998) has indicated that designing user interfaces based on cognitive and cultural differences improve the overall usability indicated through increased performance and reduced error rates. Along with the typical physical/physiological and perceptual/cognitive aspects of usability evaluation, Kurosu ( 1997) suggests that emotional and motivational aspects (KANSEI engineering) need to be considered in Japan. The Kodak cultural research attempted to validate the importance of KANSEI engineering in user interface design for Asia. A methodology derived from cultural anthropological principles of "etic" and "emic" perspectives was utilized to study and understand users' needs and preferences for digital imaging products in Japan and China ( Prabhu and Harel, 1998). The research findings were then utilized to design graphical user interfaces that are efficiently and successfully localized for China and Japan to "speak the universal language of photography". The process is based on participatory and iterative design that had "cultural research" as a prime component and is a proposed method at Eastman Kodak Company ( Prabhu, Chen, Bubie, and Koch, 1997). Initial user reactions to the GUI interfaces, gathered using a modified focus group method, indicated that covert cultural issues do play an important role in overall user preferences.
Localized user interface screens were designed for desktop user interface, back-ofthe-camera user interface, and kiosk user interface. The desktop and back-of-thecamera user interfaces along with their baseline North American designs are shown in Table I below. Desktop user interface designs for both Japan and China utilized the Picture Easy user interface as the North American baseline.