Usability Constructs: A Cross-Cultural Study of How Users and Developers Experience Their Use of Information Systems

  • Morten Hertzum
  • Torkil Clemmensen
  • Kasper Hornbæk
  • Jyoti Kumar
  • Qingxin Shi
  • Pradeep Yammiyavar
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4559)


Whereas research on usability predominantly employs universal definitions of the aspects that comprise usability, people experience their use of information systems through personal constructs. Based on 48 repertory-grid interviews, this study investigates how such personal constructs are affected by two factors crucial to the international development and uptake of information systems: cultural background (Chinese, Danish, or Indian) and stakeholder group (developer or user). We find that for the user group frustrating and useful systems are experienced similarly, whereas for the developers frustrating systems are experienced similarly to easy-to-use systems. Looking at the most characteristic construct for each participant we find that Chinese participants use constructs related to security, task types, training, and system issues, whereas Danish and to some extent Indian participants make more use of constructs traditionally associated with usability (e.g., easy-to-use, intuitive, and liked). Further analysis of the data is ongoing.


Cultural usability Usage experiences Repertory-grid technique 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Morten Hertzum
    • 1
  • Torkil Clemmensen
    • 2
  • Kasper Hornbæk
    • 3
  • Jyoti Kumar
    • 4
  • Qingxin Shi
    • 2
  • Pradeep Yammiyavar
    • 4
  1. 1.Computer Science, Roskilde University, RoskildeDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Informatics, CBS, CopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Computer Science, University of CopenhagenDenmark
  4. 4.Indian Institute of Technology, GuwahatiIndia

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