Templates for Cross-Cultural and Culturally Specific Usability Testing: Results from Field Studies and Ethnographic Interviewing in Three Countries

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    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.
    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.
    LanguageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Human-Computer Interaction
    Volume27
    Issue number7
    Pages634-669
    ISSN1044-7318
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 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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