Reflecting on the usability of research on culture in designing interaction

Nocera, Jose L. Abdelnour and Camara, Souleymane (2010) Reflecting on the usability of research on culture in designing interaction. In: Cultural Attitudes towards Technology and Communication 2010 Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Cultural Attitudes towards Technology and Communication Vancouver, Canada, 15-18 June 2010. School of Information Technology Murdoch University, Murdoch, pp. 150-162.


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The concept of culture has been attractive to producers of interactive systems who are willing to design useful and relevant solutions to users increasingly located in culturally diverse contexts. Despite a substantial body of research on culture and technology, interaction designers have not always been able to apply these research outputs to effectively define requirements for culturally diverse users. This paper frames this issue as one of understanding of the different paradigms underpinning the cultural models being applied to interface development and research. Drawing on different social science theories, the authors discuss top-down and bottom-up perspectives in the study of users‟ cultural differences and discuss the extent to which each provides usable design knowledge. The case is made for combining bottom-up and top-down perspectives into a sociotechnical approach that can produce knowledge useful and usable by interaction designers. This is illustrated with a case study about the design of interactive systems for farmers in rural Kenya.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Cultural Attitudes Towards Communication and Technology, Proceedings > CATaC Conference 2010
Depositing User: Sissi Kemp
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2013 20:25
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2013 14:11

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