Graphical images have been used in software since the advent of the personal computer. Originally, most of the images in the product user interface (UI) were simple navigational icons and those in books were primarily screen shots. Since the explosion of the internet and video games, the public’s expectation level for interesting, high quality graphics has significantly increased.
Cultural norms influence almost every aspect of a graphical image from the color, to the shape and the image content elements, including any text or alpha numeric characters contained within the image. These images, when designed with an English or North American audience in mind, are unlikely to work well in other geographies. The nature of the internet makes it easy for any user anywhere in the world to view these graphical images. In order for these images to be an effective part of a globalized application they must be designed with multicultural support in mind.