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Cultural factors in users' evaluations of user interfaces and interactions : exploration and representation of usage in Jordanian contexts

Culture shapes most human behaviour, including interaction with computers. In much Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) research, culture is assumed to impact design preferences. However, many cultural variables identified in the general literature have no clear link to design preferences. In this thesis, we develop a new model, the Diamond Model, to structure a wide range of cultural variables. This is used to organise a literature review of cultural variables and their impact in HCI, as well as to identify instances of Jordanian cultural variables, which is the focus of field studies in this thesis. The balance and range of cultural variables in the Diamond Model suggests that culture should have impact beyond design preferences, and should also influence how users react to, explain and evaluate difficulties when using computers. To investigate whether this was the case, a series of field studies was carried out to explore the balance between the impact of culture on design preferences and on reactions to usage difficulties. Each field study found Jordanian instances for cultural variables in the Diamond Model, but also added further cultural variables that had not been identified in either the general or the HCI literature. In the process, we identified more cultural variables that influenced reactions to usage difficulties in Jordan than influenced design preferences. This thesis presents the Diamond Model, applies it to existing literature on culture and HCI, and uses it to structure analysis of results from three field studies. The result is an extended Diamond Model with specific Jordanian instances of cultural variables. However, this alone may not help software developers to understand how culture impacts HCI in Jordan. To complement the Diamond Model, we developed a novel approach called “Dramatic Sketches” to communicate impact of cultural variables on HCI. We present example Dramatic sketches and conclude with guidance on developing software for Jordanian contexts.
Date January 2010
CreatorsEl-Qirem, Fuad Ali Mustafa
PublisherUniversity of Sunderland
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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