Cross-Cultural Technology Design: Creating Culture-Sensitive Technology for Local Users

Hardcover | March 9, 2012

byHuatong Sun

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The demand and opportunity for cross-cultural technology design is rapidly rising due to globalization. However, all too often resulting technologies are technically usable, yet cannot be immediately put to meaningful use by users in their local, concrete contexts. Support for concrete useractivities is frequently missing in design, as support for decontextualized actions is typically the focus of design. Sun examines this disconnect between action and meaning in cross-cultural technology design and presents an innovative framework, Culturally Localized User Experience (CLUE), totackle this problem. Incorporating key concepts and methods from activity theory, British cultural studies, and rhetorical genre theory, the CLUE approach integrates action and meaning through a dialogical, cyclical design process to design technology that engages local users within culturallymeaningful social practices. Illustrated with five in-depth case studies of mobile text messaging use by college students and young professionals in American and Chinese contexts spanning years, Sun demonstrates that a technology created for culturally localized user experience mediates both instrumental practices and socialmeanings. She calls for a change in cross-cultural design practices from simply applying cultural conventions in design to engaging with social affordances based on a rich understanding of meaningful contextualized activity. Meanwhile, the vivid user stories at sites of technology-in-use show thepower of "user localization" in connecting design and use, which Sun believes is essential for the success of an emerging technology like mobile messaging in an era of participatory culture. This book will be of interest to researchers, students, practitioners, and anyone who wants to create culture-sensitive technology in this increasingly globalized world that requires advanced strategies and techniques for culturally localized, participatory design.

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The demand and opportunity for cross-cultural technology design is rapidly rising due to globalization. However, all too often resulting technologies are technically usable, yet cannot be immediately put to meaningful use by users in their local, concrete contexts. Support for concrete useractivities is frequently missing in design, as...

Huatong Sun is Assistant Professor of Digital Media Studies at the University of Washington Tacoma and Senior Research Fellow at the Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies of Miami University.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:March 9, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199744769

ISBN - 13:9780199744763

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Table of Contents

Part I Grounding1. Approaching Culture in Cross-Cultural Technology Design2. User Experience in Global Context3. Integrating Action and Meaning in Cross-Cultural Design4. CLUE as a Framework for Cross-Cultural User Experience ResearchPart II Experiences5. Sophie's Story: New Chocolate at Work6. Lili's Story: Pure Water in Social Network7. Brian's Story: Conversations Carried through My Fingers8. Mei's Story: "Idioms Solitaire" Between Sports Fans9. Emma's Story: More than a Nice Gesture in a Technology-Mediated LifePart III Implications10. Culturally Localized User Experience as Situated and Constructed11. Future DirectionsAppendix AAppendix BAppendix CNotesReferences