This is a pretty fascinating post. DaveVr is a User Experience Research Manager and talks about the complexity of cultural sensitivity in software development; specifically about how what you would think to be a simple task (changing land mines to flowers in the minesweeper game) is quite complicated in it’s execution. Wait ’til you get to the geopolitical part.
I struggle with cultural sensitivity myself; I think any conscientious blogger does. I refuse to call it political correctness because I don’t think that there’s anyone who gets to decide the “correct” way to be (and the connection to politics?). All of our attitudes and perceptions are based on life experiences and we each have different ones. It’s tough to balance the expression of one’s personality while considering how an offhand choice of words could totally insult someone. Blogging is it’s best when it’s conversational; not over-edited. I think the best you can do is try not to be a jerk. Even typing the word “crap” causes me to reconsider. It’s tough. I can’t always be on eleven, I’m afraid.
Anyway, I think that is what the Windows team is trying to do..not be a jerk…and it takes work when your customers are all over the globe. I found it pretty interesting to see how a simple choice had so many implications.
via Todd Bishop (who reads the other MS blogs so I don’t have to)