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Localizing Images: Cultural Aspects and Visual Metaphors          Samartha Vashishtha          Adobe Systems© 2011 Adobe S...
Defining Culture…           “Culture is the collective programming of the human mind that distinguishes           the memb...
Visual elements    Localization isn’t about just text and screenshots.                                                    ...
Symbols                     Symbols are closely intertwined with etiquette and religious beliefs.                         ...
Guidelines for using symbols in content           Avoid…           •      Graphical elements with text; single letter     ...
Cultural meaning of color                                                          General meanings conveyed              ...
Cultural meaning of color© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
Cultural meaning of color© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
Snapshots — Personal care product websites© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
Other considerations for color preferences              Class differences                                                 ...
Cultural attributes and theories© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
Hofstede‟s dimensions of culture© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
Hofstede‟s dimensions for India and the US                                                          * Generated using a to...
Individualism vs Collectivism© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
Power Distance                                                                     The Netherlands                        ...
Femininity vs Masculinity                                                                           Norway                ...
Uncertainty Avoidance                                                                        The UK                       ...
Long Term Orientation                                                                       Pakistan                      ...
Chronicity       Hall’s time orientations differentiate monochronic and polychronic cultures.       Handy attribute during...
Marcus‟ model of culture                                                                   Metaphors    Metaphors         ...
Political correctness    Conscious rejection of certain symbolism…                                             Image court...
Examples of „visual documentation‟ done right                                                                   Angry Bird...
Key takeaways from this session               • Necessity to look beyond text and screenshot localization               • ...
References          •   Global 2005 Calendar, Human Factors International          •   Table at http://www.users.bigpond.c...
About the presenter                                        Samartha Vashishtha works as Content and Community Lead with Ad...
© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
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Localizing Images: Cultural Aspects and Visual Metaphors

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Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to present this session at the Society for Technical Communication (STC) Summit at Sacramento, California.

You can download an audio recording of the session from http://blogs.adobe.com/samartha/files/2011/12/Localizing-Images-Cultural-Aspects-and-Visual-Metaphors.mp3

Published in: Design, Technology, Art & Photos
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Localizing Images: Cultural Aspects and Visual Metaphors

  1. 1. Localizing Images: Cultural Aspects and Visual Metaphors Samartha Vashishtha Adobe Systems© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  2. 2. Defining Culture… “Culture is the collective programming of the human mind that distinguishes the members of one human group from those of another. Culture in this sense is a system of collectively held values.” - Geert Hofstede "Culture is more often a source of conflict than of synergy. Cultural differences are a nuisance at best and often a disaster." - Hofstede© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  3. 3. Visual elements Localization isn’t about just text and screenshots. Symbols Visual Icons arrangements User Graphics interactions Colors Images …with special relevance for persuasive and marketing- oriented content.© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  4. 4. Symbols Symbols are closely intertwined with etiquette and religious beliefs. Swastika and Swastik Differing representations of the serpent Hand symbol Intended meaning Improper in…  OK, thumbs up Italy  Precisely France, Japan, South America, India  Stop Greece Hand symbols are generally problematic© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  5. 5. Guidelines for using symbols in content Avoid… • Graphical elements with text; single letter • Hand symbols, gestures, and body parts • Religious symbols that are not globally recognized • Animal symbols, especially for conveying emotions • Flags as icons to indicate language-specific content Use… • Images of nature • Abstract illustrations, sketches, and geometric shapes • Inanimate objects • Globally recognized symbols like professions, modes of transport, equipment, devices, and consumer goods • Consider time-sensitivity • Standardized traffic and warning symbols • Other standardized images like scientific symbols© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  6. 6. Cultural meaning of color General meanings conveyed by major colors Culture-specific meanings of major colors© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  7. 7. Cultural meaning of color© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  8. 8. Cultural meaning of color© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  9. 9. Snapshots — Personal care product websites© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  10. 10. Other considerations for color preferences Class differences Climatic Age differences differences Some popular colors for Web and information systems The Web-safe color pallet is still relevant for anti-phishing systems.© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  11. 11. Cultural attributes and theories© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  12. 12. Hofstede‟s dimensions of culture© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  13. 13. Hofstede‟s dimensions for India and the US * Generated using a tool at http://geert-hofstede.com© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  14. 14. Individualism vs Collectivism© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  15. 15. Power Distance The Netherlands (PDI ~ 40) Applications • Navigation Malaysia (PDI > 90) • Models • User Interaction© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  16. 16. Femininity vs Masculinity Norway (MAS ~ 10) Saudi Arabia (MAS ~ 55)© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  17. 17. Uncertainty Avoidance The UK (UAI ~ 30) Belgium (UAI ~ 90)© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  18. 18. Long Term Orientation Pakistan (LTO ~ 0) India (LTO ~ 60)© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  19. 19. Chronicity Hall’s time orientations differentiate monochronic and polychronic cultures. Handy attribute during information design and while writing workflow documentation. Possible applications for user interactions. Monochronicity Polychronicity Single-tasking Multi-tasking Undivided attention OK with interruptions Germany, US, UK, some France, Arab world east-Asian countries Profound impact on the business environment of a country.© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  20. 20. Marcus‟ model of culture Metaphors Metaphors Mental models Mental Models Navigation Navigation Interaction Interaction Appearance Appearance© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  21. 21. Political correctness Conscious rejection of certain symbolism… Image courtesy: Clker.com© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  22. 22. Examples of „visual documentation‟ done right Angry Birds • Simple apps/products • No text/numbers • No localization cost • Clear message! Aero EAR Classic Soft© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  23. 23. Key takeaways from this session • Necessity to look beyond text and screenshot localization • Visual elements and their cultural meaning • Theories that help quantify culture • Case studies and some applications Image courtesy: Kollewin.com© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  24. 24. References • Global 2005 Calendar, Human Factors International • Table at http://www.users.bigpond.com/lionelhartley/resources/colours.htm, accessed in August 2007 • Jennifer Kyrnin, “Color Symbolism”, http://webdesign.about.com, accessed in April 2011 • H John Johnsen, “The Cultural Significance of Color”, http://www.americanchronicle.com, [California, American Chronicle], accessed in April 2011 • http://www.umb.edu/wau/techniques/color.html, accessed in April 2011 • http://www.casio.com/products/Timepiece/Baby-G and http://www.casio.com/products/Timepiece/G- Shock, accessed in April 2011 • Jeanette Joy Fisher, “Color Help: Many Factors Affect Color Preference”, http://ezinearticles.com, accessed in August 2007 • http://www.simplebits.com/notebook/2005/11/10/colors.html, accessed in August 2007 • http://www.webmonkey.com/webmonkey/00/37/index2a.html, accessed in August 2007 • http://www.honeynet.org/papers/phishing, accessed in April 2011 • William Horton, “The Icon Book”, [New York, John Wiley and Sons], 1994, page 245 • http://geert-hofstede.com, accessed in April 2011 • Aaron Marcus and Associates, “Culture vs. Corporate Global Web UI Design”, accessed in August 2007 • Harley Hahn, “Time Sense: Polychronicity and Monochronicity”, accessed in April 2011 • http://www.tamas.com/samples/source-docs/Hofstede_Hall.pdf, accessed in April 2011 • Valentina-Johanna Baumgartner, “A Practical Set of Cultural Dimensions for Global User-Interface Analysis and Design”, accessed in April 2011© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  25. 25. About the presenter Samartha Vashishtha works as Content and Community Lead with Adobe Systems, India. Beyond work, he is a bilingual poet and intermittent technology journalist. He blogs about all things Adobe at http://blogs.adobe.com/samartha.You can follow him on Twitter @samarthav. The views expressed in this presentation are the presenter’s own. His employer may not subscribe to them.© 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.
  26. 26. © 2011 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.

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