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Universal Usability

Universal Usability. Serving older adults. AARP site AARP slide show (2 shows on older users and the internet; older users a usability). Issues. Assessment of people’s needs, preferences Determining potential users Design of sites, software Evaluation of usability of sites, software

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Universal Usability

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  1. Universal Usability

  2. Serving older adults • AARP site • AARP slide show (2 shows on older users and the internet; older users a usability)

  3. Issues • Assessment of people’s needs, preferences • Determining potential users • Design of sites, software • Evaluation of usability of sites, software • Data collecting and testing methods • Interpretation of results • Recommendations

  4. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions(much quoted, tho probably not very valid) • Long-term vs. short-term orientation • Femininity vs. masculinity • Power-distance • Collectivism vs. individualism • Uncertainty avoidance

  5. Internationalization issues • Some relevant differences • Language • Including variations, e.g. • American English, British English • Spanish as it’s spoken in various parts of the world, including among different groups within the U.S. • Straight translation often insufficient • Culture – broad placeholder representing many differences, including: • What’s rude, offensive • Experience, expectations • Technology • Taste, aesthetics • Preferred functionality • Applies not just across countries but within countries • E.g., serving US residents whose primary language is Spanish

  6. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions I • Long-term vs. short-term orientation. Long-term emphasizes practice and practical value. Short-term focus their content on truth and the certainty of beliefs. • Femininity vs. masculinity. gender roles, not physical characteristics. High-femininity countries blur the lines between gender roles, while high-masculinity countries display traditional role expectations. • High-masculinity countries respond to Web sites that speak directly to traditional gender roles. Hhigh-masculinity: Japan, Low-masculinity: Sweden. • Power-distance. differences in people accept or expect access to power. • A a high power-distance country, like Malaysia, displays customers and average citizens less prominently. Authority roles are enforced by such images as official certification logos. • A low power-distance country would emphasize equality among social and age groupings.

  7. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions II • Collectivism vs. individualism. • Collectivism: people integrated into strong groups that protect them in exchange for unbridled loyalty. • Individualism: a person’s strong sense of self and that of his or her immediate blood relations. • A collectivist country would show groups of people in images, • Individualistic countries would most likely find site content and images with a single person accomplishing a challenge more appealing. The United States is an example of an individualistic country. • Uncertainty avoidance. Tolerance for ambiguity. • High uncertainty-avoidance countries would respond better to a simple manner of navigation. • A low uncertainty-avoidance country would prefere a site with complex navigation with a multitude of link choices. • An example of a high uncertainty-avoidance country would be Belgium; a low uncertainty-avoidance country would be Singapore • Source: Multilingual.com

  8. Critiquing a summary of East/West differences:'The Geography of Thought': East Brain, West BrainBy Sherry Ortner • Methodology: The idea that by taking individuals and putting them in rooms to do strange tasks one will learn something significant about their cultures seems to me quite dubious. • The vast majority of subjects in psychology experiments are college students; yet college students are a very specific subset of any population. • Interpreting the numbers • How much difference does there have to be between Asians and Westerners to demonstrate a cultural divide? • when broken down by specific nationalities, the differences between Asians and Westerners became very fuzzy. French, Italians and Germans gave answers similar to Japanese, different from US and Canadians. • Framing the argument as a contrast between Asians and Westerners in the first place. • The question of differences within the categories is occasionally acknowledged, but generally set aside.

  9. Some Major Problems I • Relations between subjects and observers • Power • Language • Comfort with strangers • Topics people are willing to address • E.g., actions vs feelings, opinions vs. knowledge; criticism

  10. Major problems II: Data collection methods • Surveys • Acceptability of questions (topics) • Applicability of questions • Wording of questions • Alternatives offered • Comparable data x countries, cultures • Observation • Sensitivity to testing, being tested • Thinking aloud • Sensitivity to expressing individual opinion on the fly • Preferences for group work • Humor • Interviews • Inconsistency between what’s said and done – competition, getting it “right” • Honesty, candidness

  11. Collecting Data x Countries • Scheduling issues (time of year, holidays…)

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