Uncertainty Avoidance (UA)

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This is the extent to which a society fears and avoids uncertainty and uncertain outcomes. Design for a high UA culture may include: - Simple clear design, limited choices. - Attempts to reveal or forecast the results or implications of actions before users act. - Navigation schemes intended to prevent users from becoming lost. - Help systems that focus on reducing user errors. - Redundant cues, colour, typography, sound, etc. to reduce ambiguity. Low UA cultures would emphasise the reverse: - Maximum content and choice. - Acceptance even encouragement of wandering and risk, with a stigma on ‘over-protection’. - Less control of navigation; for example, links might open new windows leading away from the original location. - Mental models and help systems might focus on understanding underlying concepts rather than narrow tasks.

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