Human-computer interface design for the Chinese population

Jianming Dong, Purdue University


This study focuses on developing human-computer interfaces for the Chinese population, with the goal of determining the factors that result in the fastest performance time, lowest error rate, and greatest satisfaction in using computer interfaces. Based on previous research in culture-dependent factors in perception and cognition, a three-dimensional conceptual model is proposed, which represents the interface features that are culture sensitive. The model consists of menu layout, language version, and language presentation. Two experiments have been conducted to evaluate the conceptual model. Twenty American subjects participated in the experiment in the USA and 160 Chinese subjects participated in China. The independent variables were menu layouts (horizontal vs. vertical) and language presentation (with or without dynamic translation). The dependent variables were performance time, errors, satisfaction and memory recall. Interface language versions and task types were considered as the experimental scenario. The key results of the experiment indicated that superior performance is achieved for the Chinese version interface when the menu layout is vertical rather than horizontal. However, for Chinese subjects using English interface, horizontal interface results in superior performance to vertical interface. Adding dynamic translation to either English or Chinese interfaces when the interface and task type do not match results in superior performance than non-translation interface. The conceptual model has been partially validated and the importance of culture awareness in the design of human computer interfaces has been demonstrated.




Salvendy, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Industrial engineering

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