Cultural Barriers of Human-Computer Interaction

Cultural Barriers of Human-Computer Interaction

Deborah Sater Carstens
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-87828-991-9.ch115
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Information and Communication Technology (ICT) researchers and practitioners are well aware of the cultural challenges brought on by a global market (Smith, 2004; Smith, Dunckley, French, Minocha, & Chang, 2004). However, there are many unresolved problems concerning the extent to which culture influences ICT usability. Businesses use ICT in the form of databases to house customer information, Web sites enabling customers to place orders, information systems for management or suppliers, training systems, and as products sold to customers. Internet growth enables businesses to expand their customer base to international markets. Thus, businesses benefit from the explosion of Internet usage but may be challenged by how to best meet the needs of their multi-cultural customers, suppliers, and employees. There is a need to develop a model of cultural barriers to human-computer interaction (HCI). With all of the technology in use today, along with the different cultures that interact with ICT, it is important to identify a model of ICT and the HCI barriers produced by it to better help designers of ICT avoid these technology pitfalls. Figure 1 displays how the incorporation of technology, people, and culture into businesses must be carefully positioned together to optimize the success of all involved. This article examines cultural barriers to HCI and outlines a model to help designers of ICT avoid these barriers so as to enhance a company’s ability to conduct business internally and with international businesses and customers. The article addresses topics of interest to ICT practitioners and researchers alike. Current services available to businesses that support effective international HCI are discussed. Current research and future research opportunities in the field of international HCI in ICT are also examined.

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