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Chapter 11. The Cultural Context

Chapter 11. The Cultural Context

Creating or retrofitting software applications for different cultures requires attention to technical detail that goes beyond mere translation. Designers must understand and incorporate the unique attributes and conventions of targeted cultural communities. For example, how sequential pictorial information is presented and organized for scanning on a display should be related to the script orientation of the user's first language. Therefore, script orientation for a given culture becomes an important consideration for designers even when presenting nontextual information.

It is also important that designers understand the software design and adaptation methods of internationalization and localization. Internationalization is the creation of a modular infrastructure that supports localization, which, in turn, is the process of creating and adapting libraries of attributes to target specific cultures. This chapter delineates the issues that should be considered when creating cultural libraries for the World Wide Web.


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