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WHAT IS CULTURE
culture is : “learned behavior consisting of
thoughts, feelings, and actions”. [Hoft, 1996]
Culture is a shared, learned, symbolic system of
values, beliefs and attitudes that shapes and
influences perception and behaviour.
Multicultural aspects is one of the emerging research areas
CULTURE META MODELS:
to study culture effectively to address the needs of
users worldwide in computer product design and
implementation, there is a many issues shown in
many different models one of them is:
The Pyramid Model : [by “Geert Hofstede” ]
introduces three layers of culture :
Personality: specific to a person and is learned and
Culture: specific to a group or category of people. It
is learned not inherited
Human Nature: common to all human beings. It is
universal and is inherited, not learned.
CULTURE AND IT IS EFFECT ON
HUMAN COMPUTER INTERACTION:
different cultures have different approaches to
interact with the computers which may causes
different types of problems.
But Many software companies and designers
treat other cultures as inconveniences that cost
money to deal with and as a result, the
differences in people are ignored.
Therefore, people need to adapt to the interfaces
instead the opposite.
Designing products for international users all
above the world is a non solved challenge.
is the process of designing a software
application so that it can potentially be adapted
to various languages and regions without
is the process of adapting internationalized
software for a specific region or language by
adding locale-specific components and
Some argue that internationalization is the
simple action to overcome possible cultural
problems, because internationalization
concentrates on separating the “cultural
elements” of a product from the rest of it.
localization is about adopting those “cultural
elements” for a specific target culture.
Almost all software for computers is directed by
Western countries (especially the USA).
The values, beliefs and culture of those countries
are also carried by them to other countries, thus
users are forced to adapt their way of interaction
and interpretation to a given ( most western)
Ten years ago, user interface internationalization
is not quite an issue as it is today.
Computer products made from America were sold
all over the world without interface
internationalization questions being asked
because there were not many local competitors
out there anyway.
The graph show survey results of how was the
percentage of Internet users by geography :
The yellow areas represent Internet users in North America in
all the charts, and it is obvious even by glance that its percentage
is shrinking each year. Internet users from outside North
America are increasing significant as well as rapidly during
But nowadays internationalization be one the main
goal of marketing strategies.
Vendors now understand entering a new market
takes more than supplying a product that is just
technically superior, aesthetically pleasing, or
Each culture has its own needs and desires when it
comes to products. Only those who address these
needs can compete with local or national vendors and
win the market. Computer product user interface
internationalization is not a moral decision, but a
INTERFACE GLOBALIZATION ISSUES AND
The first step in addressing internationalization
issues is to make clear what are the issues that are
[Shneiderman, 1998] says the issues include:
Characters, numerals, special characters and
Left-to-right versus right-to-left versus vertical input
Date and time formats
Numeric and currency formats
Weights and measures
Telephone numbers and addresses.
Names and titles.
Social-security, national identification, and
Capitalization and punctuation.
Tony Fernandes [Fernandes, 1995] lists the
following issues as a few:
Nationalism: What is considered an inherent part of
a nation or culture and what is consider a threat to it.
Language: a language and its various dialect.
Social context: in many languages of the world, who
made a statement has a much bearing as what the
Time: Date and time format vary from country to
country as well as calendars.
Currency: symbols used to denote money vary from
locale to locale.
Units of measure: both the metric system and English
units are used in the world.
Cultural values: notion of quality, normality,
cleanliness and property.
Symbols: food, animals and everyday objects can has
symbolic meanings that may convey unintended
Esthetics: use of color, patterns, shapes and
As Del Galdo and Nielsen [Elisa Del Galdo and
Jakob Nielsen, 1996] described, the three levels
1.Comprehensibility: A computer interface that is
capable of displaying the user's native language,
character set, and notations, such as currency
2. Usability: A computer interface that is
understandable and usable in the user's native
3. Desirability: A system that is able to produce
systems that accommodate users' cultural
THE EFFECT OF CULTURE ON USER
INTERFACE DESIGN OF SOCIAL MEDIA - A
CASE STUDY ON PREFERENCES OF SAUDI
ARABIANS ON THE ARABIC USER INTERFACE OF
Social media continues to grow, and user interfaces may
become more appealing if cultural characteristics are
incorporated into their design.
Facebook was designed in the west, and the original
language was English. Subsequently, the words in the user
interface were translated to other different languages,
The reason for this survey was to explore saudi arbian’s
opinions on what they “like” and “dislike” of the Arabic
version of the Facebook user interface
The survey was conducted by questionnaire 200 people
participated, aged between 26 and 34. These were
• 100 Saudi Arabians, 50 male and 50 female, all
living in Saudi Arabia
The participants’ views of the Arabic version of the user
interface were mixed. The two groups had similar views
with regard to the Arabic version of the user interface.
A number of issues which scored high by the
participants, such as the overall design of the Arabic
user interface, the images used for the icons, navigation,
and translation are discussed below:
THE BELOW FIGURES SHOWN STATISTICALS RESEACH OF
ARABIAN PARTICIPANTS OPINION ON THE EXISTING ARABIC
linking arabic layout to facebook