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Digital Design for a Global Audience
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Digital Design for a Global Audience


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Communicating the right message

Communicating the right message

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  • . In 2005, roughly 75% of the Internet population is estimated to be non-English speaking
  • Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.” Pepsi's "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" translated into "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave", in Chinese.
  • Although there are no absolutes, there are logical sources for the range of complex and sometimes contradictory psychological/cultural meanings of colors. These may arise from any of the following: 1. Cultural associations: the color of currency, traditions, celebrations, geography, etc. (For example, green is associated with heaven (Muslims) and luck (U.S. and Ireland) 2. Political and historical associations: the color of flags, political parties, royalty, etc. (For example, green is the color of Libya's flag; it’s the favorite color of Emperor Hirohito and the source of "Green Day" in Japan, and in the U.S., the Green Party.) 3. Religious and mythical associations: the colors associated with spiritual or magical beliefs (For example, the green man was the God of fertility in Celtic myths, a symbolism that carries over into today’s associations of Green M&M candies with sexuality in the U.S. Also, in contemporary Western culture, green is associated with extraterrestrial beings.) 4. Linguistic associations: color terminology within individual languages (For example, South Pacific languages refer to shades of green by comparison to plants in various stages of growth. In Scottish Gaelic the word for blue ('gorm') is also the word used for the color of grass.) 5. Contemporary usage and fads: current color applications to objects, sports, and associations generated by modern conventions and trends. (For example, green is used world wide for traffic lights signifying "go." In Scandinavia, green has been a popular color for many decades. In the U.S., “avocado green” was a popular color for appliances in the 1960s. Today, lime green has been a hip and trendy color in fashion and advertising in the US since the late 1990s.)
  • Today, most game developers plan to take their games global from the beginning. As the sales figures in international markets continue to rise, localized versions of games will be profitable   Now it is more commonplace for developers to ship French, German, Italian, and Spanish versions simultaneously with the English. Korean and Japanese are also becoming more popular localizations.
  • One interesting example is a game is the localized of a game to German. This WWII flight simulation where the player could either be American, British, or German pilot. After the player made his choice of nationality, authentic radio broadcasts from WWII would play from the appropriate country. These radio broadcasts for the German nationality had to be completely removed in the German version of the game. Germany has very strict guidelines about depictions of Germany in WWII, because of the politics at that time. Violent toys and video games are now illegal in Venezuela. The law – called the Law for the Prohibition of Violent Video Games and Toys was passed in November
  • Transcript

    • 1. Digital Design for a Global AudienceCommunicating the right messageImage courtesy of
    • 2. Digital Design Digital Design refers to the art of selecting and arrangingdigital elements (data) , such as text , graphics,animation, and video, to convey a message to anaudience. This message can be : Entertaining informativeTaghavi-Burris 2009
    • 3. Accessibility The vary nature of digital design makes it extremelyaccessible. The more accessible something is the larger the viewingaudience will be. When designing a digital design, whether it is intendedfor a global audience or not, the accessibility of thedesign, can allow it to reach a global audience.Taghavi-Burris 2009
    • 4. Challenges The greatest challenge that digital designers are facedwith is ensuring that their design communicates theintended message. A designer must be concerned with the individual whowill be viewing or interacting with their design, to attainthe message. What is meaningful and natural for one group may beambiguous, unintelligible, or arbitrary for another.Taghavi-Burris 2009
    • 5. Considerations When preparing a global design, designers shouldconsider cultural issues, including: Language Symbols and Icons Color Stereotypes ReligionTaghavi-Burris 2009
    • 6. Language Not everyone speaks English. Use short sentences, with 20 words or less. Shorter sentences are less intimidating to internationalreaders. Avoid idioms, abbreviations and slang Avoid ambiguous words Words that have different meanings or mean somethingdifferent in another languageTaghavi-Burris 2009
    • 7. No - GoThe Chevy Nova translates to Chevy “No Go” in Spanish.Taghavi-Burris 2009
    • 8. Symbols and Icons Symbols and icons can be interpreted subjectively. Some cultures use more symbols in communication thanothers, which is related to cultural deviation in writingand language. For example, Japanese and other Asian languages using thekanji script have a stronger ability to perceive and use visualsymbols.Taghavi-Burris 2009
    • 9. Symbol and Icon Usage Symbols allows for a message to be communicatedquickly However, if the viewer is not familiar with the symbolbeforehand, interpreting its meaning is difficult. Icons and symbols are used heavily in digital design: Web Design Video Game Design
    • 10. Considerations Symbols and Icons should be simple Symbols used in our daily lives may not have the samemeaning else where Use symbols and icons that have universal meaning
    • 11. Differences in IconsMost US e-commerce sites will use a shopping cart icon to representpurchases. However, European e-commerce sites, use a shopping bag orbasket icon.Taghavi-Burris 2009
    • 12. ISO Public Information SymbolsTaghavi-Burris 2009
    • 13. ISO Public Information SymbolsTaghavi-Burris 2009
    • 14. Color Color is the most significant element of design. Colors are an element of design that people react to ona instinctive level. Often, they dont realize they arereacting to it. For example, in the U.S. many hospitals dress their nursesin light blues and pale pinks. This is because these arecalming, soothing colors, and upset patients relax a littlein their presence.Taghavi-Burris 2009
    • 15. Color Associations Color conveys meanings in two primary ways: natural associations psychological symbolism People are comfortable when colors remind them ofsimilar things. For example, a soft shade of blue triggers naturalassociations with the sky and a psychological sense of calm.Taghavi-Burris 2009
    • 16. Contradictory Meaning Contradictory psychological/cultural meanings of colorsmay arise from any of the following: Cultural associations Political and historical associations Religious and mythical associations Linguistic associations Contemporary usage and fadsTaghavi-Burris 2009
    • 17. Color Considerations Familiarize yourself with different meanings of color Make considerations for the Color Blind 7% of the men in the US are color blind Simplify Color SchemesTaghavi-Burris 2009
    • 18. How color blind see popular sitesTaghavi-Burris 2009
    • 19. Video Game Industry The video game industry is the fastest growing in thedigital design field. Videogame Industry is worth over $100 Billion Worldwide Video Games are accessible through International Sales Streaming downloads Online gamingTaghavi-Burris 2009
    • 20. Game Systems Games systems are about : Interactions Strategies Culture and countries interact and develop strategiesdifferentlyTaghavi-Burris 2009
    • 21. Game Design Considerations Stereotypes Japanese developers created Shadow of Rome in 2005flopped, because of western stereotypes Cultural differences Japanese enjoy more structured and objective games, US gamers want immersive exploration and control Differences in lawsTaghavi-Burris 2009
    • 22. Resources Western Symbols Dictionary – International Organization of Standards - Branding Color - Color By State: Colors Matter: Smashing Magazine Global Web Design : Japanese Video Game Catch up : 2009
    • 23. Follow - twitterTaghavi-Burris 2009