I completed my PhD on Culturally Adaptive User Interfaces in May 2010 under the supervision of Avi Bernstein and Anthony Jameson. I'm currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Intelligent Interactive Systems group at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. My web page with information on my current work can be found here.
I'm especially interested in Human-Computer Interaction and how this differs between users of different cultural backgrounds. My aim is to detect such differences and improve user satisfaction and work efficiency with the help of machine learning.
In my PhD thesis, I developed an approach to Culturally Adaptive User Interfaces, and evaluated our prototype system with users of different nationalities, such as Rwandans, Thai, Swiss, Germans, as well as multicultural users from all over the world (it's amazing how much people seem to move around..). For our work on cultural adaptivity we received the 1st prize in the Swiss Computer Science Challenge '08, and the Best Paper Award at UMAP'09.
For more up-to-date information on my research, feel free to have a look at my new page.
Courses & Projects
- Dorian Signer, Gelek Doksam, Silke Gegenbauer, Thierry Bourquin, Masterprojekt, 2010
- Anthony Lymer, A Recommender System for Cultural Preferences, 2009
- David Eberle, The Economic Benefit of Localisation, 2009
- Basil Wirz, Dynamic Adaptation of User Interfaces, 2008
- Matthias Gally, Ontology-based User Modelling for Personalised Online Shops, 2008
- Andreas Bossard, Ontology-Based Cultural Personalization in Mobile
- Matthias Spinner, Combining AJAX with Semantics I: Development of a Culturally Adaptive User Interface, 2008
- Christian Kündig, A User Model Editor for Ontology-based Cultural
- Anthony Lymer, Development of a Generating Tool for Adaptive Entrance Tests, 2007
- Roman Zweifel, Developing a Semantically Annotated Web Portal for Case Studies, 2007
Email: reinecke [at] seas.harvard.edu
, Improving Performance, Perceived Usability, and Aesthetics with Culturally Adaptive User Interfaces, Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction 2011. (article)
When we investigate the usability and aesthetics of user interfaces, we rarely take into account that what users perceive as beautiful and usable strongly depends on their cultural background. In this paper, we argue that it is not feasible to design one interface that appeals to all users of an increasingly global audience. Instead, we propose to design culturally adaptive systems, which automatically generate personalized interfaces that correspond to cultural preferences. In an evaluation of one such system, we demonstrate that a majority of international participants preferred their personalized versions over a non-adapted interface of the same web site. Results show that users were 22% faster using the culturally adapted interface, needed less clicks, and made fewer errors, in line with subjective results demonstrating that they found the adapted version significantly easier to use. Our findings show that interfaces that adapt to cultural preferences can immensely increase the user experience.
MOCCA - A System That Learns and Recommends Visual Preferences Based on Cultural Similarity, International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI) 2011. (inproceedings/Demo)
, Culturally Adaptive User Interfaces 2010. (phdthesis)
One of the largest impediments for the efficient use of software in different cultural contexts is the gap between the software designs - typically following western cultural cues - and the users, who handle it within their cultural frame. The problem has become even more relevant, as today the majority of revenue in the software industry comes from outside market dominating countries such as the USA. While research has shown that adapting user interfaces to cultural preferences can be a decisive factor for marketplace success, the endeavor is oftentimes foregone because of its time-consuming and costly procedure. Moreover, it is usually limited to producing one uniform user interface for each nation, thereby disregarding the intangible nature of cultural backgrounds. To overcome these problems, this thesis introduces a new approach called 'cultural adaptivity'. The main idea behind it is to develop intelligent user interfaces, which can automatically adapt to the user's culture. Rather than only adapting to one country, cultural adaptivity is able to anticipate different influences on the user's cultural background, such as previous countries of residence, differing nationalities of the parents, religion, or the education level. We hypothesized that realizing these influences in adequate adaptations of the interface improves the overall usability, and specifically, increases work efficiency and user satisfaction. In support of this thesis, we developed a cultural user model ontology, which includes various facets of users' cultural backgrounds. The facets were aligned with information on cultural differences in perception and user interface preferences, resulting in a comprehensive set of adaptation rules. We evaluated our approach with our culturally adaptive system MOCCA, which can adapt to the users' cultural backgrounds with more than 115'000 possible combinations of its user interface. Initially, the system relies on the above-mentioned adaptation rules to compose a suitable user interface layout. In addition, MOCCA is able to learn new, and refine existing, adaptation rules from users' manual modifications of the user interface based on a collaborative filtering mechanism, and from observing the user's interaction with the interface. The results of our evaluations showed that MOCCA is able to anticipate the majority of user preferences in an initial adaptation, and that users' performance and satisfaction significantly improved when using the culturally adapted version of MOCCA, compared to its 'standard' US interface.
Modeling a User's Culture. In: The Handbook of Research in Culturally-Aware Information Technology: Perspectives and Models , IGI Global 2010. (inbook)
Culturally Adaptivity in User Interfaces, Doctoral Consortium at the International Conference of Information Systems (ICIS), December 2009. (inproceedings)
Tell Me Where You`ve Lived, and I`ll Tell You What You Like: Adapting Interfaces to Cultural Preferences, User Modeling, Adaptation, and Personalization (UMAP) 2009. (inproceedings)
, Predicting User Interface Preferences of Culturally Ambiguous Users, Proceedings of 26th Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 2008. (inproceedings)
To date, localized user interfaces are still being adapted to one nation, not taking into account cultural ambiguities of people within this nation. We have developed an approach to cultural user modeling, which allows to personalize user interfaces to an individual's cultural background. The study presented in this paper shows how we use this approach to predict user interface preferences. Results show that we are able to reduce the absolute error on this prediction to 1.079 on a rating scale of 5. These findings suggest that it is possible to automate the process of localization and, thus, to automatically personalizing user interfaces for users of different cultural backgrounds.
, To Make or to Buy? Sourcing Decisions at the Zurich Cantonal Bank, Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) 2008. (inproceedings)
The case study describes the IT situation at Zurich Cantonal Bank around the turn of the millennium. Incapable to fulfill the company?s strategic goals, it is shown how the legacy systems force the company into the decision to modify or to replace the old systems with standard software packages: to make or to buy? The case study introduces the bank?s strategic goals and their importance for the three make or buy alternatives. All solutions are described in detail; however, the bank?s decision is left open for students to decide. For a thorough analysis of the situation, the student is required to put himself in the position of the key decision maker at Zurich Cantonal Bank, calculating risks and balancing advantages and disadvantages of each solution. Six video interviews reveal further technical and interpersonal aspects of the decision-making process at the bank, as well as of the situation today.
CaseML - Enabling Multifaceted Learning Scenarios with a Flexible Markup Language for Business Case Studies, ED Media 2007 2007. (inproceedings)
Cultural Adaptivity for the Semantic Web, The 6th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2007) 2007. (inproceedings)
, Cultural User Modeling With CUMO: An Approach to Overcome the Personalization Bootstrapping Problem, First International Workshop on Cultural Heritage on the Semantic Web at the 6th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2007), November 12 2007. (inproceedings)
The increasing interest in personalizable applications for heterogeneous user populations has heightened the need for a more efficient acquisition of start-up information about the user. We argue that the user?s cultural background is suitable for predicting various adaptation preferences at once. With these as a basis, we can accelerate the initial acquisition process. The paper presents an approach to factoring culture into user models. We introduce the cultural user model ontology CUMO, describing how and to which extend it can accurately represent the user?s cultural background. Furthermore, we outline its use as a re-usable and shared knowledge base in a personalization process, before presenting a plan of our future work towards cultural personalization.
, Culturally Adaptive Software: Moving Beyond Internationalization, Proceedings of the HCI International (HCII), July 2007, Springer. (inproceedings)
So far, culture has played a minor role in the design of software. Our experience with imbuto, a program designed for Rwandan agricultural advisors, has shown that cultural adaptation increased efficiency, but was extremely time-consuming and, thus, prohibitively expensive. In order to bridge the gap between cost-savings on one hand, and international usability on the other, this paper promotes the idea of culturally adaptive software. In contrast to manual localization, adaptive software is able to acquire details about an individual's cultural identity during use. Combining insights from the related fields international usability, user modeling and user interface adaptation, we show how research findings can be exploited for an integrated approach to automatically adapt software to the user's cultural frame.
, Flexibilisierung der Lehr- und Lernszenarien von Business-Fallstudien durch CaseML, 5. E-Learning-Fachtagung DELFI 2007. (inproceedings)
In diesem Paper wird eine Auszeichnungssprache für multimediale und modularisierte Fallstudien, die in der Wirtschaftsinformatik-Lehre eingesetzt werden, vorgestellt. Während die meisten Fallstudien für eine spezifische Lehr-Lernsituation geschrieben sind, sollen die Fallstudien, wie sie hier beschrieben werden, flexibel und modular für verschiedene Aufgabenstellungen und in unterschiedlichen Lehr-Lern- Szenarien einsetzbar sein. Hierfür ist eine flexible Darstellung der Fallstudien notwendig; sie kann durch die von uns entwickelte Auszeichnungssprache CaseML sicherge- stellt werden.