Andy Smith1 and Lynne Dunckley2
(1) Department of Computing and Information Systems, University of Luton,
Park Square, Luton, LU1 3JU, UK. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(2) Faculty of Maths & Computing, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton
Keynes, MAA 3JU. Email: L.Dunckley@open.ac.uk
Shared interfaces, with users from different cultural and geographical domains present designers with new dilemmas. There is the choice of overall design strategy; whether to develop an international culturally free interface or to provide a number of localised versions. Whatever the approach, effective design involves recognising the cultural elements within a given design proposal.
Designing for diverse user groups involves consideration of culture, gender, age, and physical disability. Such diversity makes it even more unrealistic for designers to rely on intuition or personal experience for interface design. However designing multiple interfaces for different user groups adds significantly to the cost of development. It is important therefore to focus on characteristics of interfaces which are sensitive to user factors in order to produce a cost effective solution. This paper describes the results of some experimental developments for shared multi-cultural interface design.
The authors have developed the Logical User Centred Interface Design (LUCID) method for interface design that has been validated for the development of mono-cultural systems. The method ( Smith & Dunckley, 1996) aims to provide a user-centred environment through which usability is enhanced with respect to identified criteria. The identification of key interface design factors is crucial to the LUCID method and occurs at an early stage in the design