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Hits from Around the World: Website usability for multi-cultural audiences

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How can you make your website more usable, accessible, and useful to audiences whose first language is not English?

Published in: Design, Technology, Business
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Hits from Around the World: Website usability for multi-cultural audiences

  1. 1. Hits from around the world Website usability for multi-cultural audiences Research by Nikki Van Dusen, MA
  2. 2. Problem • Audience diversity is increasing • Web resources are scarce • Making multiple sites for multicultural audiences not often possible
  3. 3. Theories
  4. 4. Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions • Power Distance • Uncertainty Avoidance • Time Orientation • Masculinity-Femininity • Individual-Collective
  5. 5. Method • Lit review and critique • Address readability • Focus groups
  6. 6. Findings • Wireframes are no longer culturally specific • Content can be made to "satisfice" for multiple audiences
  7. 7. Lit review and critique
  8. 8. Readability • Establish readability score for content using Flesch-Kincaid  • Re-write the test content
  9. 9. Focus groups Samples tailored to cultural dimensions
  10. 10. "10" tips according to the research Formatting for readability • Write plainly, using easy English • Keep text as short as possible • Define or replace advanced vocabulary  • Use point form • Keep line length between 50 & 70 characters
  11. 11. "10" tips according to the research Tone • Tone should match content • If changing tone for culture, avoid awkward, artificial constructions
  12. 12. "10" tips according to the research Images • Use multiple, literal photographs throughout the text if possible  • Use rich media whenever possible
  13. 13. "10" tips according to the research General • Remember objective cultural differences such as ways of formatting time, dates, currency & numbers • Remember your audience & be human 

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