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The role of the tutorials is to provide a platform for a more intensive scientific exchange amongst researchers interested in a particular topic and as a meeting point for the community. Tutorials complement the depth-oriented technical sessions by providing participants with broad overviews of emerging fields. A tutorial can be scheduled for 1.5 or 3 hours.


Method-Mix for the Development of Intercultural User Interfaces


Rüdiger Heimgärtner
Intercultural User Interface Consulting (IUIC)
Brief Bio
Dr. Rüdiger Heimgärtner holds a doctorate in cultural differences at MMI and is the founder and owner of the company "Intercultural User Interface Consulting" (IUIC). Since 2008 he shares his compiled knowledge on the development of intercultural user interfaces and their development processes as ASPICE and UX assessor in the form of training, coaching and consulting in industry and research. He is author of the first German-language book on IUID. As a founding member of the "International UX and Usability Engineering Qualification Board" (UXQB), he also imparts the CPUX scheme and is a member of standards committees at the "Deutsches Institut für Normung" (DIN) as well as head of the working group "Interculturality" at the German UPA.

After a brief introduction to the development of intercultural user interfaces (IUID), a method-mix for IUID is presented and then applied and specifically practiced in groups on the basis of concrete project examples to derive recommendations for IUID from scratch. This tutorial is suitable for everyone, who is interested in a systematic approach to IUID willing to understand the cultural influences on HMI design and how to take them into account in intercultural product development (such as HMI researchers, UI developers, UX designers, students and practitioners).


Culture, Human Factors, UX, Usability, Intercultural User Interface Design, IUID, Method mix, HMI dimensions

Aims and Learning Objectives

The aim of this TUTORIAL is to raise awareness of the problem of applying usability engineering methods in the context of intercultural HMI design. The tutorial teaches why cultural aspects play a role in MMI design and must be taken into account, and how this is done in HMI design and within usability engineering. Using examples and exercises, the contents are illustrated, reflected upon and intensified. The participants are sensitized to the challenges of intercultural usability engineering and intercultural HMI design by means of practical exercises at all levels, equipped with action-relevant methodological knowledge and invited to apply it.

Target Audience

Everyone belongs to the target group who is interested in a systematic approach to the development of intercultural user interfaces: HMI researchers, UI developers, UX designers, students and practitioners who understand the cultural influences on HMI design and want to take these into account in product development.

Prerequisite Knowledge of Audience

Special previous knowledge is not required - however, a certain familiarity in the areas of usability engineering and user centered design is advantageous.

Detailed Outline

Differences between cultures can be found by analyzing critical interaction situations between people (Thomas, 1996). Honold 2000 made this method available for cultural differences in Human-Machine Interaction (HMI). The internal model of the user about the system is shaped by the culture of the user, his expectations about the characteristics of the system and his interaction experience with the system. Vöhringer-Kuhnt 2002 found that e.g. Hofstedes "Individualism Index" (cf. Hofstede, Hofstede, & Minkov, 2010) is related to user satisfaction and usability of the product and has a significant influence on intercultural usability. Röse 2002 proposed the "Method for Culture-Oriented Design" (MCD), which integrates the factors of new concepts of culture-oriented HMI design and the knowledge of cultural differences into existing concepts of HMI design. Relevant cultural variables for intercultural MMI design must be determined analytically based on literature research and requirement studies. Their values represent culture-dependent variations that occur at all levels of HMI localization (interface, functionality and interaction) and can be used for intercultural user interface design (IUID). Similarly, Shen, Woolley, & Prior 2006 focus on culture-oriented design. Further methods are the user interface characteristics of Marcus 2006 or the cultural markers of Badre & Barber 1998. More recent approaches e.g. by Castro Salgado, Leitão, & Souza 2013 are based on semiotic theory.
2 Content and didactic concept
After a general introduction to intercultural HMI design and usability engineering, the most important methods for "Intercultural User Interface Design" (IUID) will be introduced in several phases and then practiced with the participants on the basis of practical examples as well as feedback on the use of the method mix will be discussed. Cultural differences and their effects on the HMI design will be discussed, as well as methodological problems and their avoidance. What has been learned will be reflected and deepened in various contexts.

2.1 Introduction of IUID
- Overview of IUID (see (Shen et al., 2006): Culture-centered design, (Clemmensen & Roese, 2010), (Plocher, Patrick Rau, & Choong, 2012): Cross-cultural design, (Rüdiger Heimgärtner, 2013, 2014, 2018): IUID, (Castro Salgado et al., 2013): Semiotic analysis)
- Analysis of critical interaction situations (cf. (Thomas, 1996)): Experiencing and becoming aware of cultural differences - Analysis of actual and target situations and exchange of experiences - Communication methods, empathy, role reversal, self/foreign image
- Cultural differences and their effects on HMI design (cf. (Honold, 2000), (Röse, 2002), (Rüdiger Heimgärtner, 2012))

2.2 Learning the IUID Method Mix
- Method of culture-oriented HMI design (MCD, (Röse, 2002))
- Identification of cultural differences in HMI design
- Knowledge of cultural differences and their impact on HMI design
- User Interface Characteristics (Marcus, 2006)
- HMI dimensions (Rüdiger Heimgärtner, 2012)
- Method mix: Identification of cultural differences and their implications for intercultural MMI design (Rüdiger Heimgärtner, 2013, 2014, 2018)

2.3 Applying the IUID Method Mix
- Application of the learned mix of methods for the development of intercultural user interfaces to concrete project examples of the participants
- Methodological analysis in a cultural context (cf. Heimgärtner 2010)
- Identification of challenges when using usability engineering methods in an intercultural context
- Knowledge of methodological challenges and how to avoid them

2.4 Discussion of the application of the IUID method mix
- Discussion, reflection and deepening of the new (acquired) knowledge
- Summary and Feedback

Secretariat Contacts
e-mail: chira.secretariat@insticc.org