Designing for engagement: Intercultural communication and/as participatory design

Guiseppe Getto
2014 unpublished
Designing for engagement: Intercultural communication and/as participatory design Within rhetoric and professional communication, intercultural research has most often focused on such elements of communication situations as languages, issues regarding translation, and adaptation to culturally situated value systems of interlocutors (Maylath, 1997; St.Amant, 1999; Thatcher, 2010; Wang, 2010). Technological infrastructure for intercultural situations, however, is largely conceived of as a
more » ... ved of as a material base upon which communication runs. If we consider an infrastructure as a dynamic meeting of communicators, modes of communication, and technologies, however, it is unclear how we might apply existing intercultural research methods and findings to the design of such communication systems. As a heuristic for moving toward thinking about both infrastructure and intercultural inquiry in this more complex manner, I provide below a literature review geared toward wedding best practices in user experience design (UX) with best practices in intercultural inquiry. Several trends in each conversation will become apparent from this literature review. Namely: 1) Intercultural communication research has sought recently to complicate cultural systems and how individual interlocutors relate to them with an eye toward developing culture-focused approaches to professional communication; 2) Research focusing on the ways users access communication infrastructure has similarly begun to shift toward understanding users as participants and stakeholders rather than simply as "end users" of the technologies infrastructures contain; 3) UX research methodologies have largely neglected culturally specific lifeways of users just as intercultural research methodologies have neglected the design of communication infrastructure.