The results of both practical applications show that it is possible to measure the variability of the user's response to the interfaces and to identify which of the design factors affect this variability. In this way it is possible to identify the best 'global' interface and those design factors, which contribute the most to optimising the 'global' interface in contrast to those design factors which have maximum affect on the user differences and should be considered when localising the interfaces.
User groups based on objective cultural factors gave clear and understandable results. Identifying and classifying users using subjective cultural factors was both more difficult and more resource intensive. The insights for interface design obtained from the results were also less clear. For example, the subjective factors indicated the significance of power distance and individualism/collectivism for the database application, This result was less obvious but could be an important insight into the way that users perceived their tasks in relation to the computer system and planning decisions. The other preliminary finding (which will need further verification) was that the subjective factors seemed much better at clustering users than the objective factors. It is common knowledge that individuals of the same age and ethnic background vary a great deal in other ways. However the results of the users in the same subjective categories showed a surprisingly small variance. This was an unexpected and intriguing result.
The usability of the multi-media application was more sensitive to cultural factors than the database application. Western culture tends to dominate computer systems at the moment and it was significant that in both applications users from non- Western cultural groups were at a disadvantage.
Hofstede, G. ( 1991) "Cultures and organizations - software of the mind" McGraw-Hill
Smith, A. and Dunckley, L. ( 1996), "Towards the Total Quality Interface - applying Taguchi TQM Techniques within the LUCID method", in Sasse, M. A., Cunningham , R. J. and Winder, R. L. (eds.), People and Computers XI, Proceedings of HCI-96, Springer. ISBN 3-540-76069-5, pp 3-17.
Smith, A. and Dunckley, L. ( 1998), Using the LUCID method to optimise the acceptability of shared interfaces, Interacting with Computers, 9, pp. 335-345.
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