Working Paper Series, Department of informatics, Copenhagen Business School
Designing for the cultural "other"
Abstract: The process of globalization is opening new windows for
Danish initiatives. The requirement for innovation and development of new
areas as a consequence of the globalization will lead to radical changes
and the IT businesses need to take active part in the development. But in
order to understand and explain the globalization process we also have to
understand the limitations. One such limitation is found in the global
digitalization of information- and communication processes. This global
development requires, from the world citizens, literacy in use of
computers. The majority of the world populations are illiterates, they are
not only technical illiterates but also illiterates in the traditional
sense: they cannot read and write, however, the global ICT development
largely disregards the problem with illiteracy and cultural differences. It
seems that a future area of growth for the Danish IT business with their
specific competencies may be to strengthen the user oriented and
interdisciplinary approaches to design and development of ICT applications
- targeted to specific cultural groups and the illiterates - in developing
countries and also to large groups of immigrants in the developed world.
India is an example of the global structural changes. India has developed
an impressive ICT industry and has a very high level of expertise in
software engineering. India’s government has a vision for e-democracy and
have implemented e-government systems, which also address the rural
populations. But the Indian population is very large and the potential
users are highly diverse groups of which many are illiterate. Denmark has
an IT industry that supplements India’s, e.g. a strong expertise in
e-government, and ICT for the agriculture. Denmark has a long tradition for
cooperation between IT developers, researchers and users and is strong in
interdisciplinary approaches to development and design of ICT applications.
Denmark also has a tradition for a human centred design, and usability is
seen as a competitive factor. In India usability is on the agenda in only
few IT companies, and it is also new to the academic world (Pradeep Y.
2004). Copenhagen Business School, department of Informatics has for the
last 18 months been involved in the establishment of a Euro-India Centre.
The departments research group on human-computer interaction(HCI) has
prioritized HCI work in the Asian world for the last 4 years (Clemmensen
2004, Nielsen Janni 2004, Nielsen, Clemmensen and Yssing 2002, Levinsen, K.
2002, Nielsen, Lene and Gregers Koch 2003). The wish for a collaborative
network has come about as a result of meetings and discussions between
researchers from especially India and Denmark and also from Great Britain
and Sweden. The first Indian conference on HCI in December 2004 and the
initiative from CBS, department of Informatics in May 2005 where an Indian
– European workshop was held, created the basis for this network
Keywords: None; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: H00; (follow links to similar papers)
8 pages, September 18, 2005
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