The concept of usability has become an increasingly important consideration in the design of all kinds of technology. As more products are aimed at global markets and developed through internationally distributed teams, usability design needs to be addressed in global terms. Interest in usability as a design issue and specialist area of research and education has developed steadily in North America and Europe since the 1980's. However, it is only over the last ten years that it has emerged as a global concern.
Global Usability provides an introduction to the important issues in globalizing design and an insight into the development of usability expertise around the world. The book is divided into two sections. The first section deals with the general issues in cross-cultural design and the methods for conducting usability design and evaluation across geographical boundaries. The second section describes the state of usability development in fifteen countries. The descriptions include a history and review of activities and include some unique perspectives that have developed in relation to usability work. Researchers and practitioners from a variety of design-related disciplines will find the book a useful guide for understanding the issues and an excellent reference source for working in any of the countries covered.
Ian Douglas is an Associate Program Director at the Learning Systems Institute at Florida State University and an Associate Professor in the university's College of Communications and Information. His research interests focus on improving human performance, particularly through knowledge management and user-centered design of technology. Dr. Douglas has a multidisciplinary background, with an M.A. (hons) in Psychology, an M.S. in Computing and Cognition and a Ph.D. in Computing. He previously worked as a consultant in a flight simulator company and as an educator in the U.K. and Singapore. He has been a visiting professor in the Philippines and China.
At Florida State, Dr. Douglas has been the principal investigator on a number of large research projects funded by the US army, State of Florida and the U.S. Department of Education. His most recent project investigates the role of web-enabled mobile technology in enhancing school field trips to science museums and nature centers. He has also completed several web-based databases with map-based interfaces, including one that was the inspiration behind this book.
Zhengjie Liu is the founder and director of Sino European Usability Center (SEUC), professor at School of Information Science & Technology of Dalian Maritime University, China. He is Adjunct Chair for Developing Worlds at ACM SIGCHI, expert member of IFIP TC.13 HCI Committee, co-founder and co-chair at ACM SIGCHI China. His areas include usability, user-centered design and human-computer interaction (HCI). He has been working in usability and HCI since 1989. He founded SEUC in 2000 as a leading research and educational center dedicated to usability/HCI in China. Since then, he has led SEUC conducting many research projects sponsored by leading players in industry including Fortune 500 multinationals and funded by EU and Chinese government.
He is on the editorial board of the Springer international journal Universal Access in Information Society. He also served as co-chair at international conferences including INTERACT, CSCW etc. He holds an B.E. and an M.E. Degree in Computer Science from Xian Jiaotong University, China.