T09: Cross-Cultural HCI/User-Experience Design: What Are Differences and Similarities of User Preferences and Expectations, Including China?

Monday, 26 July 2021, 08:00 – 12:00 EDT (Eastern Daylight Time - Washington DC)
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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 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 learn practical, immediately useful principles/techniques.

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 desktop and mobile applications. Issues discussed will include those from key technology, social, business, culture, and HCI/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 accounting for 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


Course Description/Abstract:

This tutorial summarizes key concepts of user-centered design (UCD) for use experiences (UXs), then focuses on cross-cultural communication and design issues. User experiences and human-computer interfaces (HCI) for desktop, Web, mobile, and vehicle platforms must reach across culturally diverse user communities, even within a single country/language group, and certainly across the globe. If HCIs/UXs 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.

Agenda with Exemplary Time Schedule

Time Topic
08:00 Tutorial begins
08:00 - 08:30 Lecture 0: Introduction to Content and Speaker.

This period will introduce the presenter and discuss how the techniques that will be discussed fit into the user-interface/user-experience (UI/UX) 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.
08:30 - 09:45 Lecture 1: Cross-Cultural UX Design

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.
09:45 - 10:00 Exercise 1: Analyze Cross-Cultural Conversations

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 findings.
10:00 - 10:30 Break
10:30 - 10:45 Lecture 2: Mobile Phone Cross-Cultural UX Design

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.
10:45 - 11:00 Lecture 3: Cultural Analysis of Corporate Cultures

We shall discuss a case study of analyzing different cultures of a corporation's sites in different countries to assist the client in developing tools to improve communication, cooperation, and collaboration.
11:00 - 11:15 Lecture 4: Culture Audit Before Translation

Illustrated lecture will show how analysis of concepts, text, imagery, and symbolism of a user-interface before translation can identify problematic areas that should never be translated in the first place.
11:15 - 12:00 Lecture 5: Emerging Chinese UX Design Trends

We investigate 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.
12:00 Tutorial ends


Target Audience:

The target audience for this tutorial includes those professionals, academics, students, and researchers who are familiar with UX/HCI concepts but who may be new to cross-cultural theories, culture models, and cross-cultural analysis.

Bio Sketch of Presenter:

Aaron Marcus, Principal, AM+A

Mr. Marcus has been researching and designing user-experiences since 1969. 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 39 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), Cuteness Engineering: Designing Adorable Products and Services (2017), and The Work of Aaron Marcus: Way Ahead of You in Another Direction (2021, in preparation).

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 2016, the San Francisco Museum of Modern (SFMoMA) art acquired about 70 of his works and included 21 of them in a show “Typeface to Interface” built around the acquisitions. His design work and art work are in the collections of SFMoMA, the Victoria and Albert Museum/London, the Computer Museum/Mountain View, the Letterform Archive/San Francisco, and the RIT Vignelli Graphic Design Archive/Rochester. 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 has been a Visiting Prof., Inst. of Design, IIT, Chicago, College of Design and Innovation, Tongji Univ., Shanghai., and Computer Science Department, Dalian Maritime University, China.

Mr. Marcus is Principal of Aaron Marcus and Associates (AM+A), a user-interface and information-visualization development firm with more than 39 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 clients include Apple, BMW, HP, Kaiser, Microsoft, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Sabre, Samsung, SAP, Siemens, and Xerox. AM+A has received design awards from several organizations, including from the International Institute for Information Design for the design of five mobile persuasion concept designs.

Mr. Marcus has written chapters/case studies for seven Handbooks; 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, an editorial board member of Visible Language and the International Journal of HCI, and Co-Chairs the annual Design, User Experience, and Usability (DUXU) conference.