Universal usability
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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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Serving older adults
Serving older adults

  • AARP site

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


  • 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

Hofstede s cultural dimensions much quoted tho probably not very valid
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

Internationalization issues
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

Hofstede s cultural dimensions i
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.

Hofstede s cultural dimensions ii
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

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.

Some major problems i
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

Major problems ii data collection methods
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

Collecting data x countries
Collecting Data x Countries

  • Scheduling issues (time of year, holidays…)