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November 27, 2006


Amir D


I have also read the book and it does offer brief insight, though I did find it to be rather short. John Yunker's book you mentioned on the other hand is far more detailed.

I have a deep interest in culturally aware design (Culturability) and actually teach a cultural perspectives module as part of a multimedia BA degree where students are required to localize an existing site. Some of the final results are very insightful (This one for example: http://amirdotan.multiply.com/journal/item/3 )

The five cultural dimensions you listed are cited almost all the time and prove to be a good starting point, albeit they are also heavily criticized. First of all, they assume each country has only one culture, not to mention the fact that they were derived from interviews conducted with IBM employees some time ago. All in all, they should be handled with care and not be regarded as something set in stone in my opinion.

That said, there has been quite a lot of empirical research, that showed that people in the far East for example do prefer to work in groups (collectivism) and show greater respect to authority (power distance). I think that the dimensions may offer an general approach which should be validated through traditional usability testing, requirements gathering and so on.

As you pointed out, there are many issues to consider such as content preferences, use of metaphors (visual and textual), colors, imagery, layout, technological constraints (dialup vs. broadband) and much more. It sure is an exciting area.

Jon Strande


Thank you so much for the great comment! Sadly, I haven't gotten to read Yunkers book yet... I'm really looking forward to it now.

Thank you!


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