International User Interface Design

Tony Fernandes, Netscape

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University April 19, 1996


Most software companies are making 50% of their revenue from overseas, yet the methods used only guarantee good usability for the domestic version. Often, designs rely upon American metaphors, American objects, and American tastes. Designs are rarely designed with their various target nations and cultures in mind from the beginning. This talk offers a brief introduction to the issue of designing user interfaces for international audiences. It shows some the the differences in the way people communicate/act and the impact of those differences on the user interface. Slides from all over the world will be shown as well as examples of good and bad designs from software products.


Tony Fernandes is Manager of the Human Interface Group at Netscape Corporation. He is the author of an upcoming book entitled "Global Interface Design". Prior to coming to Netsacpe, he directed the group at Claris, responsible for the UI design of Claris' Mac, Windows, and Newton applications. His design work at Claris included Amazing Animation (a kids animation product) and ClarisImpact (a business graphics product); ClarisImpact has won Mac product of the year awards in Germany, France, and Australia. Prior to Claris, Tony was a senior designer at Lotus Development Corportion. His last design work at Lotus was 1-2-3 for Windows Release 4.0.


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