Beyond Translation: Approaches to interactive products for Chinese consumers
Taylor & Francis
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This paper summarises some of the high level issues with regards to Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and the localisation of interactive digital products for other languages and cultures, in particular, the Chinese language. The findings result from over seven years of research and product development work, initially conducted at the Apple-ISS Research Centre in Singapore, and then by Ericsson Cyberlab Singapore and the US design consultancy GVO. This paper analyses two different approaches (deficit-driven and languaculture) that can be taken when localising interactive digital products for other languages and cultures. The paper explains why the languaculture approach that depends on the interdependence of language, culture and interaction is preferable. This research work includes the use of ethnography for understanding culture, combined with cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary teams. In addition, the work included the rapid prototyping and user testing of new mobile phone concepts. The impact of the research described in high-level terms in this paper resulted in an award-winning product by Apple Computer called Apple’s Advanced Chinese Input Suite. In addition, the interaction design work won a silver medal award at the prestigious Industrial Design Society of America awards. The work continued at Ericsson Research where aspects of mobile interaction design for Chinese users was explored. While at the Apple-ISS Research Centre Loudon was overall team leader for the Chinese interaction design work with the core design work conducted by Sacher and the core technical work conducted by Loudon and Tng. At Ericsson Loudon was Programme Manager leading several major research projects including the research and development of a new 3G mobile device targeted at the Chinese and Japanese market. It was whilst engaged with this work that Gill and Loudon began to discuss common interests and shared beliefs in the future of Information Appliance design and development research.
International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction
Sacher, H., Tng, T.H. and Loudon, G. (2001) 'Beyond translation: Approaches to interactive products for Chinese consumers', International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 13(1), pp.41-51.
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