Study: Intercultural Adaptation of Large Semi-Public Displays

Study manager and contact person
Laura Stojko
Faculty for Computer Science, Institute of Software Technology
Professorship for Human-Computer-Interaction
University of the Bundeswehr Munich
Phone: +49 89 6004 -2602

Für die deutsche Version bitte hier klicken


Objective of the study

The study, which is part of the dissertation "Intercultural adaptation of large semi-public displays" by Laura Stojko, aims to find out how the user interface of a large, interactive semi-public display can be adapted to the intercultural design preferences of a user group. In our case, a large interactive semi-public display is a large wall screen in an access-restricted space displaying content to encourage collaboration in small groups. This content can be explored interactively through touch. This study focuses on how cultural design preferences of multiple users can be aggregated and how such a user interface can be personalized through adaptations (adjustment of different elements, such as content density, colorfulness, etc.). The cultural adaptation of user interfaces of other end devices, such as websites, showed increased usability in other studies, but these were mainly single-user and not multi-user applications as in the case of large semi-public displays (i.e., several people should be able to use this display). Design decisions, such as the choice of color or the number of different colors, are often made subjectively. However, our cultural background shapes our assessment of what we perceive as subjectively user-friendly or aesthetic.

To be able to make more target-oriented design decisions and to investigate whether this leads to an increase in the usability of large semi-public displays, intercultural adaptations of a user interface need to be tested.

For this purpose, this study evaluates different adaptations of the user interface, e.g., concerning content density or colorfulness, using qualitative evaluation methods such as think-aloud (expressing thoughts and opinions during interaction) and partially structured interviews (expressing opinions when comparing different user interfaces through supporting questions).

Approximately 24 people (six people in four groups) are required for the study to represent four user groups as an example.

Study procedure

In the first step, a digital survey (time required: max. 5 min.) is used to verify whether you fulfill the requirements for the study. You must then confirm your consent to participate in the entire study (survey as well as on-site evaluation).  On the following pages, your personal data reflecting your cultural background will be collected in order to calculate your cultural profile. Finally, for organizational reasons, your name and email address will be requested. The survey is collected by SoSci (hosted on a UniBw M server). The survey data is then separated from the administrative data and pseudonymized. The survey only serves as a basis for calculating a user profile with numerical values for various cultural dimensions. Once this has been determined, identifying you without further information is no longer possible. Your individual cultural profile is then randomly aggregated with five other profiles using two different methods. The result is a group profile used to identify and implement user interface adaptations for your group. The individual profiles can no longer be identified or derived from this group profile. The result is three different user interface variants to be evaluated during the evaluation on-site. Therefore, I will invite you to the in-person evaluation of these three different user interface variants at the University of the Bundeswehr Munich within the next two months.

The evaluation on-site (time required: ca. 60 Min.) begins with an exploration of the user interface variants (you can interact with the three variants and are asked to express your thoughts out loud; this method is called think-aloud) and then ends with a partially structured interview (with the help of previously defined questions, the three variants are compared and you are asked which aspects you liked better). During the on-site evaluation, video and audio recordings are made, which are transcribed by the person conducting the study (i.e., a textual reproduction of the spoken word) and then destroyed. You are potentially recognizable on the video and audio recordings. The transcripts are evaluated exclusively using a coding analysis; only anonymous data is used for publication. These recordings are necessary so that the opinions expressed can be correctly evaluated and, for example, the statements made during the interaction can be assigned to the elements currently displayed. 

To ensure that you evaluate the correct user interface variants corresponding to your group during the on-site evaluation, it is necessary to record which individual profiles have been aggregated in the group. For this purpose, your cultural profile is given a pseudonym, which is stored in a separate coding list with your contact details. The coding list is only known to the person conducting the study for organizational purposes and to prepare the on-site evaluation. It will be deleted after the on-site evaluation has been carried out and the transcription has been completed. The contact details (name and e-mail address) will be deleted after the data evaluation has been completed.
Please note that the journey to the site is not insured.

The prerequisites for participation are:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must not have any visual impairments, such as color blindness or red-green deficiency, as the color design of the user interface is also evaluated.
  • You must be able to speak either German or English.
  • You must be in Munich once within the next few months (July-Sept) and available for about one hour for the evaluation on-site.


Below, you will find further information about the study:


Here you can participate

If you are interested in taking part in the study, you can start the survey directly here:

Any questions about the study? Please contact Laura Stojko!