- What makes this event so unique?
There are two other major forums for people engaged in internationalization and localization (customization) of computer systems, but IWIPS is the only one that
- appeals both to academics and industry practitioners (even a few government people)
- therefore supports technology transfer between researchers and those who need the technology for commercial applications
- is small enough that effective networking is virtually guaranteed
- costs little enough that individuals can afford to come, even from overseas, without substantial institutional or corporate support
- due to its human-computer interaction roots, covers an extremely wide variety of topics and approaches
- What's the biggest challenge that companies face in localizing / internationalizing products?
- finding out which culturally sensitive features in products are key in making them usable for customers in specific foreign markets
- What's the biggest concern in undertaking localization efforts (or in NOT undertaking them)?
- effectively localizing products has become a global market differentiator, so not localizing inevitably restricts sales to several if not many potential markets
- Why was Austin selected? (What was the response of committee members when Austin was chosen?)
- Austin was selected because there is a core of internationalization/localization and usability firms there, and because principles from two of those firms had the resources (mainly people) to stage the workshop
- What can local businesses get out of this event?
- immediate payback is information about features that should be localized and techniques (processes) for doing that economically and on schedule (two big concerns)
- secondary payback is becoming aware of where to find information (and even staff) to support design and production of products they intend to/do sell overseas
- tertiary payback is making contact with people from other countries who could help them in determining design market forces affecting overseas sales
- and, last, if nothing else local businesses can network with other usability/computer system design professionals in the region
- Here's an example from IWIPS 2000, held in Baltimore:
A representative of an international consulting firm headquartered in suburban Washington, D.C., was so impressed with the usefulness of the material presented at the workshop that she purchased 20 copies of the proceedings to use as texts in staging her own in-house tutorials for managers who she felt needed to be aware of internationalization and localization issues.
- Why is this event important for academic institutions?
- it's the only forum devoted to computer system usability with an emphasis on cultural appropriateness and technology acceptance (academics working in this area tend to be swamped in other human-computer interaction conferences, many of which are much larger)
- it provides a publication outlet (the proceedings) for research that typically receives little credit in mainstream journals and computer conferences