Posted to the Ethnos Project by on June 21st, 2015

This case study examines the key design features and methodology required to develop a website that best reflects the culture of an Indigenous Australian community. The study also considers general issues related to the representation and capture of Indigenous knowledge. The Wollotuka project is grounded in previous contextual design work. The aim was to investigate two main questions: what key design features should be incorporated into a website to meet the requirements of an Aboriginal community and what culturally acceptable process can be used to capture these requirements? The Wollotuka project adopted an iterative prototyping approach that built on previous knowledge concerning Indigenous design elements. The user-centred design process engaged closely with 12 members of the local Aboriginal and Islander community throughout the process. The ethnographic process included a focus group discussion and one-on-one interviews. The final design incorporated a virtual tour of the building and the grounds. Within the tour are situated other key features such as storytelling, video, Aboriginal art, humour, music and dance, messages from community members, a facility for feedback and some simple interactive games. A number of helpful guidelines related to Aboriginal culture and design features were identified in the project. The project also identified important guidelines regarding a culturally acceptable design process for an Indigenous community. Overall, the community-based design process used in the Wollotuka project met with approval from all members of the group. Interviews with the project participants highlighted the importance of this close community involvement in the design process.

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