Templates for Cross-Cultural and Culturally Specific Usability Testing

Results from Field Studies and Ethnographic Interviewing in Three Countries

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    The cultural diversity of users of technology challenges our methods for usability testing. This article suggests templates for cross-culturally and culturally specific usability testing, based on studies of usability testing in companies in Mumbai, Beijing, and Copenhagen. Study 1 was a cross-cultural field study of think-aloud testing done by usability vendor companies in the three countries. The result was a grounded theory of cultural variations in the production of a usability problem list. Study 2 was a follow-up, ethnographic interview study of how the companies typically perform usability tests. The result was the construction of templates for usability testing. The culturally specific templates were in Mumbai “user-centered evaluation,” Copenhagen “client-centered evaluation,” and Beijing “evaluator-centered evaluation.” The findings are compared with related research, and the implications are pointed out. The templates can be seen as a simple and practical way to plan, compare, and improve the way usability testing is carried out in multiple, different cultures and countries.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Human-Computer Interaction
    Volume27
    Issue number7
    Pages (from-to)634-669
    ISSN1044-7318
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Keywords

    • Cross-Cultural Studies
    • Ethnographic Analysis
    • Field Work (Research)
    • Cultural Pluralism
    • Sociocultural Factors

    Cite this

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    title = "Templates for Cross-Cultural and Culturally Specific Usability Testing: Results from Field Studies and Ethnographic Interviewing in Three Countries",
    abstract = "The cultural diversity of users of technology challenges our methods for usability testing. This article suggests templates for cross-culturally and culturally specific usability testing, based on studies of usability testing in companies in Mumbai, Beijing, and Copenhagen. Study 1 was a cross-cultural field study of think-aloud testing done by usability vendor companies in the three countries. The result was a grounded theory of cultural variations in the production of a usability problem list. Study 2 was a follow-up, ethnographic interview study of how the companies typically perform usability tests. The result was the construction of templates for usability testing. The culturally specific templates were in Mumbai “user-centered evaluation,” Copenhagen “client-centered evaluation,” and Beijing “evaluator-centered evaluation.” The findings are compared with related research, and the implications are pointed out. The templates can be seen as a simple and practical way to plan, compare, and improve the way usability testing is carried out in multiple, different cultures and countries.",
    keywords = "Cross-Cultural Studies, Ethnographic Analysis, Field Work (Research), Cultural Pluralism, Sociocultural Factors",
    author = "Torkil Clemmensen",
    year = "2011",
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    AB - The cultural diversity of users of technology challenges our methods for usability testing. This article suggests templates for cross-culturally and culturally specific usability testing, based on studies of usability testing in companies in Mumbai, Beijing, and Copenhagen. Study 1 was a cross-cultural field study of think-aloud testing done by usability vendor companies in the three countries. The result was a grounded theory of cultural variations in the production of a usability problem list. Study 2 was a follow-up, ethnographic interview study of how the companies typically perform usability tests. The result was the construction of templates for usability testing. The culturally specific templates were in Mumbai “user-centered evaluation,” Copenhagen “client-centered evaluation,” and Beijing “evaluator-centered evaluation.” The findings are compared with related research, and the implications are pointed out. The templates can be seen as a simple and practical way to plan, compare, and improve the way usability testing is carried out in multiple, different cultures and countries.

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