Cultural Sensitivity in UX Design
User-defined approaches form the crux of UX engineering. Yet, the professionals would do well to keep in mind certain cultural affiliations when they take up the duties for international clients. Statistical generalizations do not work. It helps to dig deeper, know your clients and the culture they belong to, rather than drawing from sweeping market guidelines.
If you are designing a new app or introducing it in a new country that’s culturally different, it helps to study the audience first.
Conventionally, product features take precedence over customer research. It’s no different in UX designing. The designers are so tied up thinking about visuals and esthetic appeal that they either ignore or give short shrift to customers’ orientation and user behavior. Nothing is more important than restoring this balance; products mean precious little if they cannot grab attention and engagement!
Observe building architecture. Do modern designs not have ramps for wheelchair-bound customers? Similarly, some societies are extra sensitive to their environments. Respect their sentiments. Do not introduce changes that create a disturbing impact on their world. Aligning product and promotion strategies with local sentiments provides the motor force towards better marketability, sustenance, and success of products.
UX designing approaches must take a leaf out of customer-centric practices that are everywhere.
Define your user: Draw a sketch of your user as narrowly as possible. Include their age, opinions, belief systems, local customs, values, social conditions, etc. Pack in a few other details. Rework. Get a closer picture still.
Invest in user research: Investing in user research helps gain vital inputs about customers’ preferences, tastes, ethnic-cultural influences, prejudices, and local customs. A simple insight on whether people read from left to right or right to left can make a world of difference in typesetting.
Navigate cultural barriers: You cannot tweak cultures according to your products, but you can adjust your products according to local cultures. Right? Get a pulse on users’ needs, aspirations, habits. Get your preparation right before you launch the product. There are usually no second chances.