Basics of Intercultural Engineering: Analysis of User Requirements in Mainland China
For many years, researchers of the social sciences have analyzed cross-cultural differences of interpersonal communication styles and behavior. During the last ten years, usability engineers also have focused on intercultural differences of icon / color coding, navigation, and other humancomputer interface components. The time for product development and the time between redesign efforts both are becoming shorter than ever before. Consequently, to prepare effectively interactive products for the global market, we must engineer their intercultural attributes. One basic step for intercultural Engineering is the analysis of user requirements in different cultures. This paper describes the analysis of culture-specific information from users in Mainland China and the application of different methods for different design issues, especially in an intercultural context. Selected results of this analysis will also be presented. The analysis and their results are part of the project Intops-2: Design for the Chinese market, funded by several German companies.