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Fri, 19 Jul 2002 12:01:49 +0100
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CULTURE AND WEBSITE USABILITY
STRATEGIES FOR INTERNATIONALISATION AND LOCALISATION

Call for Participation
One-Day Workshop at  HCI / EUPA 2002

Monday 2nd September 2002
South Bank University, London

You are invited to participate in an  interactive, participatory workshop
focusing on website usability for a global user base, taking place as part
of the HCI / EUPA 2002 International Conference (www.hci2002.org).

Background
Given both the great expansion in software globalisation offered through the
Internet, and the multi-media nature of many websites, effective strategies
for design and evaluation that address cross-cultural issues are now seen to
be critical to the success of many applications. Cultural diversity makes it
unrealistic for designers to rely on intuition or personal experience of web
design. However designing multiple sites for different user groups adds
significantly to the cost of development. It is important to focus on
website characteristics which are sensitive to key differences within the
user base.

There is no lack of theoretical underpinning for cross-cultural usability.
Hofstede's dimensions of culture, for example, are often quoted in relation
to cross-cultural usability. What is lacking is the explicit demonstration
that theories of culture are actually applicable to website usability.

This workshop will allow those working in the area of international website
development (either as commercial designers / usability engineers involved
in 'real' projects, or academics engaged in proposing new methodologies) to
meet, engage, in a practically oriented interactive environment, and address
a range of issues determining effective global website design.

Organisers:
The workshop is being organised by colleagues from optimum.web limited which
has completed a range of commercial projects in cross-cultural usability.
All the workshop organisers have both commercial and academic experience in
this field:

Andy Smith, Director, optimum.web limited ([log in to unmask])
Tim French, University of Luton and Consultant, optimum.web limited
Shailey Minocha, Open University and Consultant, optimum.web limited
Lynne Dunckley, Thames Valley University and Consultant, optimum.web limited

Goals
The workshop will have the following goals:
+ to debate and share experiences in usability methods for international
website design;
+ to relate evaluation strategies to differing cultures;
+ to assess the relevance of theoretical models of culture such as Hofstede;
+ to engender collaboration between practitioners and academics;
+ to plan for future activities and methods of communication within
appropriate communities.

The output from the workshop is expected to form the basis of the
dissemination of best practice within the commercial and academic
environments. The preferred mechanism will be debated during the workshop
but the organisers hope that the workshop will contribute to a special
edition of the journal Interacting with Computers, plans for which are
currently underway.

How to take part
We ask those interested in attending the workshop to submit a short position
paper (max 2 sides) outlining their current involvement in this field. For
usability professionals this could briefly document challenges and solutions
derived from previous projects and / or personal views of methods for
effective design. For academics this could summarise individual research
work within the field.

The deadline for position papers is Wednesday 14th August. The organisers
will confirm participation on Friday 16th August.

Once the meeting has finished we anticipate asking for longer paper
submissions for a special edition of the journal Interacting with Computers.

Please send position papers to:

Andy Smith
optimum.web limited
107 Fleet Street
London
EC4 2AB
Email (preferred mechanism): [log in to unmask]
Web: www.optimum-web.co.uk

You can take part in the workshop only, or also register for the full HCI /
EUPA conference. The cost for the workshop is 50. For more information on
registration and accommodation see the HCI / EUPA 2002 conference site.

Further details:
This call for participation, the full workshop paper and a programme for the
day can be found at:

http://www.optimum-web.co.uk/eupa

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