The final project is a course-culminating paper that enables students to utilize work done in previous weeks of to create a global communications project.
You will make a design proposal and develop a product for three different demographic groups: your own demographic group, and two other groups. The groups must reside on different continents.
You will be given a choice of products to localize.
What is a product?
A product could be an object to develop, an object to sell, or a service to help solve a problem. A deliverable for the product could be: a letter to persuade or to inform, sales information or advertisement, a product such as a software program or Web site, or technical/design information to produce a product.
You can select from amongst the following products:
Proposal to drill wells for fresh water. Remember to document financial sources and labour sources.
Proposal to start a business. Define what the business would do, and remember local labour laws.
Sales material for a cellular phone service provider, describing types of phone and services offered.
Sales material for affordable furniture.
Kitchen or cooking utensils.
A software application, such as an integrated calendar for a mobile device.
Who is the audience?
In addition to your own demographic group, you must select two other demographic targets for your product. The target audiences must be on separate continents. (Though, you are not expected to translate your material).
In your initial plan, you will state your assumptions about the target groups and their relationship to the product. You will then research the demographic groups (due Sat 3/23) and refine your assumptions (due in week 4). Finally, based on your research, you will localize a product for each group (this is your final project, due at the end of week 4).
What is the assignment?
Short paper 1(Due 3/15): Write a design proposal explaining how to develop, sell or explain the product for each demographic target. Outline your initial assumptions about the specific requirements each demographic target might require. (See more information below).
Library Research and Summary Project: (Due 3/22) An annotated bibliography of sources that you are using in your ethnographic research. (See more information below).
Short paper 2:(Due 3/26) An Update of original design proposal (Short paper 1), providing the ethnographic information you have discovered from your library research. (See more information below).
Final project: (Due 3/29) Develop targeted versions of your product for each demographic target. Also, write a project summary, describing your decision making when developing the deliverables, and pointing out the similarities and differences according to each demographic target. Reference research that you have made on the demographic target groups.
Short paper 1
You will create three short planning papers: one paper for each demographic target group (the two selected, and your own). 500 words per paper.
In each paper, include the following information:
Identify the target demographic group for your product.
State any assumptions you have about the target group. These are merely personal assumptions. You will research them in week three.
Identify the product, and describe the business problem:
Describe your product, and state whether your project will be a service to the target group, sales material in the target area, an actual product for the target group, or other.
State what you plan to deliver as a final project: a proposal to perform a service, an advertising campaign, a design specification, or other.
Does this product address an existing need, or is it something new and unique?
Summarize the functionality to be developed:
What should the product be able to do?
If it is part of something larger, what existing functionality is it part of and how does it relate to existing functionality?
Describe the workflow or process where the changes should fit in.
Put it in perspective regarding future development (e.g. is this the first phase of a bigger development?)
Describe the consequences for related functionality. How does this development change the surroundings?
Enrich the descriptions:
Provide an example
Provide pictures and graphics
Point out areas of uncertainty where further cultural research for successful product development or implementation is needed.
Library research and summary project
Deliver an annotated bibliography of resources that you are using in your ethnographic research. Find at least 5 resources for each demographic target, which will provide the information that you will require to know the needs of your target audience when you develop your localized product.
One very important resource will be that of the Cultural model that you can use (e.g. Edward T. Hall, David A. Victor, Geert Hofstede, Fons Trompenaars). Identify the Cultural models you will use in creating your product, and note your findings for each target audience.
Identify the resources in the target country. How they are used and how are they controlled? What medium is the best way to convey your message?
What is an annotated bibliography?
An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to resources (books, professional journal articles, websites). Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph (the annotation). The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited. Annotations are descriptive and critical; they explain the author’s point of view, clarity and appropriateness of expression, and authority.
Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed Internet research.
The purposes of an annotated bibliography
a) To learn about your topic: Writing an annotated bibliography is an excellent way to prepare for a research project because you’re forced to read each source more carefully and you begin to read critically instead of just collecting information.
b) To help you formulate a thesis: Every good research paper makes an argument. The purpose of research is to state and support a thesis. By reading and responding to a variety of sources on a topic in an annotated bibliography, you’ll start to see what the issues are, what people are arguing about, and you’ll then be able to develop your own point of view.
First, locate and record citations to resources (books, professional journal articles, websites) that may contain useful information and ideas for your Final Project due in week 4. That is, find resources on the local cultures to which you will be localizing your project. Examine and review the resources.
Finally, write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of each resource. Include one or more sentences that (a) state the main arguments and topics covered, (b) note the important information for your project from this resource, (c) evaluate the authority, reliability, or background of the author(s) and whether the resource is a suitable source for a college or professional research paper, (d) comment on the intended audience, (e) compare or contrast this resource with another you have cited, and (f) describe how this resource illuminates or changes your thinking about your topic.
Choose the correct format for the citations
The Chicago Manual of Style citation format is acceptable for this assignment. Chicago Manual of Style quick citation guides are available at:
Short paper 2
Update your original design proposals (Short paper 1), providing the ethnographic information you have discovered from your library research.
Identify the international variables that you researched. How will the product or development of the product differ by local customs and cultural expectations?
Identify competition in the target area, if any.
Identify similar items in the target area (for example, if the object is a cookie, identify various other sweets in the area).
Develop a cultural profile of target users. For the three short papers, I expect from 600 to 1000 words per paper.
The Final project is intended to be the localized versions of the product and an integrative essay. In the essay, write a project summary, describing your decision making when developing the products, and pointing out the similarities and differences according to each demographic target. The paper must be 11-16 pages long (each product to be 1 to 2 pages long, and the assessment to then be 8 to 10 pages long, plus title page and bibliography pages), and contain an introduction with a thesis, supporting evidence that is well documented, and a conclusion. You must use at least six to ten sources of information to complete the project. Be sure to cite all sources of all information used in the paper. You should use materials from the Library Assignment completed and papers completed in weeks two, and four.
I will turn in my own assignments to be integrated into project on the following dates