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Possibilities for cultural customization of mobile communication devices: the case of Iranian mobile users

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Global producers of mobile communication devices recognize the importance of cultural differences in the emerging markets; however it seems that the main concentration in both academic and business areas is on the large number of users with low incomes, while users from other classes of these societies are not studied well. In this study after set of integrated reviews on areas of Mass Customization, New Product Development and Mobile HCI an experiment was planned based on the unexplored aspects of users' culture and mobile communication devices relationships. A number of young educated users from middle class tested a new smart phone during its marketing process in Iran. They were sampled based on a global producer's marketing program. After a phase of self documentation, users selected two applications of the device for the usability tests and found culture related usability problems during the tests. Finally they proposed solutions in a participatory design process.