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Product Globalization, EQUID, Cultural and Affective Design


Khalid, H. & Prabhu, G & Yeo, A. & Helander, M. & Yahaya, M.


This panel aims to address three related issues that are pertinent to internationalization of products and systems, namely: product globalization, ergonomics quality in design, cultural and affective design, with the goal of stimulating discussions among participants in the workshop. There are three main aspects of product globalization: (1) Management of internationalization and localization, (2) Guidelines to facilitate successful global design, and (3) Processes required in implementing global products. The assumptions in product design are that the product is “neutral,” “one size fits all,” and by removing all culturally specific features from the product affects changes at the interface level but not the functionality. Today with global markets, every product has users with different cultural beliefs, history, and practices. One goal is to design a product that is useful and satisfies all user expectations and cultural norms. This is not an easy task; it is unlikely that one designer will have knowledge of the cultures for which a product is targetted. Guidelines in global design can be used, but there are advantages and disadvantages that need to be addressed. Users are increasingly more aware of the ergonomics design of products. For a variety of products in different markets it is simply not enough to have many functions and/or an aesthetic design. User oriented design of products is a key factor for economic success. The usefulness of ergonomics for design processes and for strategic management led to the Ergonomics Quality in Design (EQUID) initiative by the International Ergonomics Association (IEA). The global objective of EQUID is to promote the integration of ergonomics into the design process, besides supporting the public to make more informed decisions about the ergonomics quality of products. A basic requirement of the EQUID approach is to have a comprehensible and transparent documentation of the user participation within the product development process. However, EQUID has yet to consider affective and cultural requirements in its framework. One reason being that designers tend to understand functional requirements better. An emerging aspect of product internationalization is Affective Engineering, which is concerned with measuring people’s affective responses to products. It is now an expanding method for use in research and in the industry. Approaches to affect include understanding how one can measure and analyse human reactions to affective and pleasurable design, and how one can produce affective design features of products for the global market. However, both product globalization and EQUID have yet to consider affective design in product development processes. Methods may be developed to measure user experience in terms of affective responses. Topic 1: Product globalization and EQUID Topic 2: Innovative design for global markets Topic 3: Indigenous Cultures, Innovation and Design for Global Markets Topic 4: Affective design for global markets Topic 5: Designing for local/global markets : the case of Mimos Berhad

Original publication:

Minoi, J. & Yeo, A. & Abdelnour-Nocera. Designing for Global Markets 10, 141-145. 10th International Workshop on Internationalization of Products and Systems. Kuching, Malaysia. July 11-14, 2011.


© 2011 Product & Systems Internationalisation, Inc. ISBN: 0-9722184-6-7


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