Cross-Cultural Technology Design

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port for concrete user activities is frequently missing in design, as support for ... Studies at the University of Washington Tacoma and Senior Research. Fellow at ...

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

Huatong Sun 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 user activities 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), to tackle 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 culturally meaningful 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 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. 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.

“This insightful text offers a grounded approach to rethinking technology design, and gives a framework for creating innovative design, development, and deployment practices. Sun’s work illustrates clearly the ways in which traditional HCI and interaction design methods tend to miss the fact that technology and culture are intricately intertwined.” – Elizabeth Churchill, Principal Research Scientist, Yahoo! Research and VP of ACM SigCHI “Huatong Sun offers an enlightening, but also useful set of theoretical principles, case histories, and scholarly implications that should assist researchers and analysts to bring products and services into being that are more evolved, sophisticated, humanistic, and successful.” – Aaron Marcus, President, Aaron Marcus and Associates, Inc., Berkeley, California, USA “Dr. Sun’s book takes culture more seriously than most scholars working in this area, and she also provides us with some of the richest portraits of user knowledge that I have read.” – Jeff Grabill, Professor of Rhetoric and Professional Writing, Michigan State University

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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.

Feb 2012 • 352 pp. 9780199744763 • Hardback $39.95/$31.95

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Winner of the NCTE 2013 Best Book in Technical or Scientific Communication Award!