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Fahri Yetim <[log in to unmask]>
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Fahri Yetim <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 2 Dec 2002 16:25:56 -0500
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a special issue of
Interacting with Computers.

Information and communication systems (a) cross national borders, (b)
are used by people in different cultures and (c) are applied in
culturally different contexts. A number of factors highlight the need to
be acutely aware of the role of culture as part of information systems
development. Effective strategies that address cultural issues in both
the product and the process of development now often are critical to
systems success. In relation to the product of development, cultural
differences in signs, meanings, actions, conventions, norms or values,
etc., raise new research issues ranging from technical usability to
methodological and ethical issues of culture in information systems. In
relation to the process of development, cultural differences effect the
manner in which users are able to participate in design and to act as
subjects in evaluation studies.

Although IT researchers and practitioners as well as global IT suppliers
have long been aware of the challenges of the global market,
nevertheless there still are unsolved problems concerning the extent to
which culture may affect the usability of the artefacts they produce. In
addition, the great expansion in software globalisation made possible
via the Internet turns the smallest website owner into a global player.
This has vastly increased the need for understanding and exploiting
global and local requirements in software development, and has
highlighted the special challenges with respect to developing countries.

In 1998, Donald Day edited  Shared Values and Shared Interfaces: the
role of culture in the globalisation of human-computer systems , the
first special edition in this field for Interacting with Computers
(Volume 9 Nos 3 and 4). Since then, the issues underpinning
cross-cultural usability have been explored in a number of HCI-related
conferences and workshops (e.g., the IWIPS series). This new special
edition will aim to take the theory and practice of effective design for
a global market significantly further, in both theoretical and practical

Submissions are invited to cover any area relating to the development of
usable global information systems. In particular, papers that attempt to
answer one or more of the following research issues are encouraged

1 The significance of culture within usability.

Are the differences between countries / cultures greater or less than
the difference between types of user, irrespective of country / culture?

2. The role of generic cultural models in cross-cultural usability

What evidence is there that such models (e.g., that of Hofstede) are
actually significant?
How do we develop systems based on such theories?

3. Empirical studies on the use of information systems

Studies involving culturally different users, or about such systems
application in different cultural contexts.

4. The role of the international user in the design process

How do we avoid cultural bias in requirements elicitation and usability
data collection?
User-based evaluation methods that address cultural diversity in both
the moderator and user.
Remote evaluation: does it work?

5. Web site usability   strategies for internationalisation and

Is the web a truly global phenomenon, operating irrespective of culture?
(Is there a  culture of the web  that affects user behaviour in special
circumstances by adapting traditional societal culture?)
What is the relationship between customer segmentation / differentiation
and  generic  culture?
How do we engender  appeal  and develop trust across cultures?

6. Intercultural computer-mediated communication

Methods, models and tools to support intercultural cooperation, e.g.,
supporting articulation, understanding, idea generation, discussion,
decision-making, etc.

7. Software  off-shoring  and the role of usability in developing countries

How do we ensure usability in products designed and developed by a
global community? (Do products improve or degrade when created in the
24-hour software factory using concurrent engineering techniques?)
How appropriate are the concepts of usability and user participation in
developing countries?

8. Cognitive, social, political and legal factors

Issues such as trust, ethical issues, language barriers, national or
organizational policies, which enable or constrain intercultural

Submitted papers should be addressed in the first instance to the guest
editors Smith and Yetim.

To enable us to plan the issue, we ask that prospective authors send the
guest editors a proposed title and abstract, by 15 January 2003


Dr Andy Smith
Reader in HCI, University of Luton, UK
Director, optimum.web limited
Email: [log in to unmask]

Dr Fahri Yetim,
Information Systems Dept,
New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA
Email: [log in to unmask]

  Fahri Yetim, Ph.D.
  Information Systems Department (
  College of Computing Sciences,  New Jersey Institute of Technology
  GITC 4400
  University Heights,  Newark, New Jersey 07102-1982  USA

  Email: [log in to unmask]
  Home page:
  Phone: (973) 596-5237     FAX:    (973) 596-5777