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Colors, Buttons, Words and Culture Designing Software for the Global Community.

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Presentation on theme: "Colors, Buttons, Words and Culture Designing Software for the Global Community."— Presentation transcript:

1 Colors, Buttons, Words and Culture Designing Software for the Global Community

2 Susan M. Johns 1997 CODI Conference Pittsburg State University Axe Library Pittsburg KS USA


4 February 6

5 April 12

6 April 23

7 May 5

8 May 17

9 July 10

10 Definition of Culture F Culture is the beliefs, value system, norms, mores, myths,and structural elements of a given organization, tribe, or society F More than mere language translation –Nakakoji

11 Cross-Cultural Communication F Develop user interfaces for products with a global market F When outsourcing to other countries, we work and communicate with people we have never met in person F Work culture values and views differ from our own

12 Technology As Cultural Amplifier F “Although technologies transform culture and thought to amplify human productivity...a system’s functionality... is often unconsciously affected by the underlying traditions of the system designer’s culture.” –Nakakoji

13 “Sundials perform as clocks in sunny climates -- they are more useful in Phoenix than in Boston and of no use at all during the Arctic winter.” Herbert Simon, The Sciences of the Artificial, MIT Press, 1981

14 The Tale of Three Interfaces F 54 Americans F 35 English-speaking citizens of other nations F 43 Males F 46 Females

15 The Tale of Three Interfaces Designed For F (Design 1) English-speaking European adult male intellectuals F (Design 2) Caucasian-American women F (Design 3) generic English-speaking consumers of an “international-style”

16 The Tale of Three Interfaces Moral of the Story F There are no generic cultural guidelines F Issues cannot be solved by using overly generalized characterizations of user populations, and...

17 The Tale of Three Interfaces Moral of the Story F F Do users know what they want? F F Do users recognize what they have designed (or requested)? F F Is the user the best indicator the vendor has for developing the best design?

18 “Don’t boil the ocean.” Malcolm Frank, Be Quick or Be Dead, Software Magazine, March 1997

19 Cross Cultural Development F Culture exists across professions F End-users and developers share cultural understanding F Should users be able to state their requirements clearly and precisely a priori when they simply do not have the knowledge to do so?

20 Cross Cultural Development F Software engineering and application domain knowledge work together F Develop knowledge among stakeholders F Exploit opportunities to establish successful cross cultural collaboration

21 The International Need F Customers want systems that use their own language and meet their own cultural conventions F Some countries require products to reflect their culture and language F Internationally competitive companies must consider cultural preferences of their customers

22 PeopleSoft Goes Global F Identify common processes around the world F Deliver languages and localizations F Add global complexity with manageable implementation

23 PeopleSoft Goes Global F Architecture for core functionality F Understand local functions and cultures F Use Customer SIGs

24 PeopleSoft Goes Global F Shorter implementation F Customization times diminish F Ongoing maintenance is reduced

25 PeopleSoft Goes Global F Global customers have more in common than differences F Vendor must understand what is different and what is similar F Everybody (vendors) is “Embarking”

26 What is Internationalization F The process of providing a computer system that handles a variety of language, country, and cultural conventions

27 Internationalization (I18N) F Eliminate cultural specifics F Design culture-independent user information and interfaces

28 User Information

29 What is Localization F A locale is an operating system database of language and country conventions F Developing software to support multiple locales is Localization

30 Localization (L10N) F Localization of product for each user culture F Language, date and number formats F Graphical representations/icons F Color F Physical flow of objects

31 System I18N F Uses multilingual products instead of monolingual or bilingual products F Allows switching between different locales and languages F Provides software that meets international standards

32 System I18N Challenges F Treat English as just another language F Use one program source for all languages to reduce costs for maintenance and documentation

33 System I18N Challenges F Plan for extra disk space needed. To save space, ship only the languages purchased by a customer F What is the delay from when the package is available in the vendor’s local country to when it is available in other languages?

34 System I18N Challenges F Monitor acronyms and mnemonics for negative meanings in different languages F Understand differences among U.S., British, and global English F Be aware of different dialects in the same language

35 System I18N Challenges F Use care when sorting lists F Use numeric indexes instead of sorted alphabetic indexes whenever possible F Keep illustrations, tables, and figures simple F Verify translations back into English

36 Standards and the World of Uni- and Zed- F Unicode F UNIMARC F Z F Z F Z F Zzzzz...

37 History of Unicode F ASCII, a “U.S.” Standard (ISO 646) F DBCS - double byte character system (some chars 1 byte, some 2 bytes) F Unicode - all chars 2 bytes (16 bits)

38 History of Unicode F Unicode is a subset of ISO 10646, as are ASCII and Latin-1 (8-bit ASCII) F Unicode eliminates duplicate Han characters in Chinese, Japanese and Korean (CJK) F ISO stores chars in 4 bytes; Unicode stores chars in 2 bytes

39 Definition of Unicode F The Unicode standard is a fixed-width, 16-bit character encoding system that contains codes for every character needed by the major writing systems currently in use in the modern world, along with codes for a full range of punctuation, symbols, and control characters (Davis et al.)

40 Definition of Unicode F Punctuation marks F Diacritical marks F Uppercase, lowercase, and uncased letters F Characters used to represent digits F Control characters

41 Unicode Problems F Universal standards for dates, measurements, and money F Simplified encoding of Chinese characters does not depict “classical” Chinese F Storage (twice as much?) F Transmissions (twice as long?)

42 UNIMARC Definition F implementation of ISO 2709 for the structure of records containing bibliographic data F intended to be a carrier format for exchange purposes F does not stipulate form, content, or record structure of data *within* individual systems

43 UNIMARC Problems F Software developers must rewrite their existing software F the existing MARC formats use a unique definition of extended ASCII F How do you convert 40 million MARC records without anyone noticing?

44 UNIMARC Benefits F Allows addition of foreign titles without transliterating the data F Users able to search library catalogs in all languages rather than just by call number or ISBN F Assumes software/virtual keyboards and other input devices needed to generate the CJK characters

45 Sorting and Conditional Formatting F English: A-Z, a-z F German: Characters with an umlaut sort directly after characters without an umlaut F Swedish: Ö sorts last in the alphabet after Z F Spanish: double characters (ll and ch) that sort as single characters

46 Other Issues F Upper and lower case, subtract 32 no more! F Wild card symbols in search/find boxes F Hyphenation of long words and word breaks F Gender in language F Tense and case

47 Message Catalogs F Files used to store program input and output strings F All program strings used interactively by the user should be contained in one or more message catalogs F Messages stored in database locales F Makes messages more customizable

48 Menu Space F % extra space depending on the number of English characters F Ex: “Preferences” translates “Bilschirmeinstellungen” F Boxes should be self-sizing and movable

49 Conventions and Format Differences F Dates: May 12, 1959 is – 12/5/59 5/12/ F Calendars: Gregorian, Hebrew, Islamic, Japanese Imperial Era F Times: 8:32 p.m. is –20:32 20,32, KI 20.32

50 Conventions and Format Differences F Numbers: –3, , ,45 F Currency: –$2, ,456,78 DM 2.456$78 –Don’t forget yen and pound symbols F Paper sizes: A3, A4, A5, JIS-B4 JIS-B5 F Punctuation : > ; ¡ ¿

51 Formats for Patrons Z39.69 and Z39.70 F NISO standards for patron personal data and patron transaction data F I14N and L10N aspects of patron data need to be considered F Not limited to address, postal code, phone, ID#, and confidentiality issues around the world

52 Color, Music and Sound F Color combinations F Color balance (theme and secondary) F Color association (appropriateness based on abstract concepts) F Music and sound more easily linked to a photograph than an icon F Music associations highly dependent on culture

53 Icons F Trashcan icon can look like a postal box in Britain F If you use books, make sure they open in the proper direction for the target market F icon of a rural post box with a red flag has no meaning outside rural America

54 Icons F Colors within icons may be culturally insensitive F Try not to use text: think in terms of international driving symbols F Think: what is the symbol for ISBN other than ISBN?

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