RAA #2: Incorporating culture in user-interface

Hisham, S., and Edwards, A. (2007). Incorporating culture in user-interface: a case study of older adults in Malaysia. Proceedings of Hypertext and hypermedia 2007, Manchester, UK, ACM, pp 145-14


This is a user-interface deign study on the Malaysian older adults, why and how they use computer application. In order to define design requirements to help encourage the usage and improve the user experience of the older adults.


There are too part of this study, the preliminary study randomly select seven adults to conduct interview, with questions address different background and level of computer literacy. The second field work part, researchers conduct more interviews. Six out of twelve participants was observed and told to use the think-aloud technic.

Main Find:

  1. Why
  • Most of the older adults use for work related tasks and connect with family and friend for convinence and less cost.
  • Most of the older adults have trouble use english user interface, they prefer in their first language
  1. How to improve user interface
    • Uses colorful graphics and moving picture
    • Not too much text
    • Graphic hyperlinks and button is easy to use than text hyperlink
    • Labelled icons are preferred to menus
    • Everyday word better receive than formal word
    • Malays older adult prefer Malays interface, Indian older adult prefer English interface
    • The existing icon are poor received by these user
    • A linear user-interface structure is better


We can apply user and language rule to interface to attract and encourage target culture to use computer. Improvement localisation can increase target group’s acceptance to the specific computer application

It always interesting to me to read research done on different countries and minority group, many time, these people are the people as a society should care for more instead of ignoring them.