Cultural dimensions of software Help usage

While nobody doubts that computer literacy, experience and education play an important role in user behavior, the impact of age, gender and culture is less obvious. Cow TC recently conducted a study to find out which factors influence the user’s motivation to use Help systems and to learn how Help systems can be adjusted to better suit its target audience.

Text by Leah Guren


Cultural dimensions of software Help usage

The origins of a study

When conducting usability testing, researchers and usability experts start by analyzing basic user demographics. They often create personas to represent different user groups, and then use that data to select or classify the actual testers (the people participating in the usability study).

In two recent usability studies, we encountered tester behavior that didn’t fit our expectations based on the demographics. These were minor anomalies that did not affect the overall study results, but they were certainly curious. On further examination, we began to suspect that there was another influencer on user behavior. Was there, in fact, something besides users’ domain knowledge, computer experience, product knowledge, and education level that influences their use of product documentation?

Could it be culture?

Some background on culture

The very concept of culture is ...