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  • Richard Hewitt

Global Design Research - things to consider.

When it comes to global UX research and design, there are a few important things that you need to take into consideration. Aspects of the cultures that you are dealing with and being aware of the differences between them, as well as picking a team that you know are going to carry out the research required to the best of their ability. It’s not always easy, but by following the points listed here, it’s likely to run much smoother than you may have initially anticipated.

The Importance of Planning

It is essential to stay organised when it comes to embarking on your global UX endeavours. Being organised means that paperwork is easier to find, but also that the process is likely to run smoother. While planning primarily takes place at the beginning of a job, it also takes place throughout. Planning is a constant, especially when things change.

First, you need to plan out your objectives. While an obvious thing to do, it is essential that you have a clear goal in mind. You need to review the decision making processes you will use, how your research will support the development of your UX and benefit the target market, but also where you are going to start with your research.

One of the other main things you should sort out before you begin is the legal paperwork. You and your solicitor should be going through local laws and legislation, reaching out to embassies for advice, and also ensuring that everything is filled out correctly. Getting this out of the way first can be a massive relief.

Connecting Global Teams

The focus of this section is the connection of global teams to form a common understanding between them. One of the key things to remember is that you are all going to be in different time zones, and so some teams will have to suffer through late nights or early mornings so that everyone can communicate about the design and research together.

Setting a clear schedule in advance will help your teams to prepare for meetings like this, and it can help bring them together. It is also important that they remember to listen to each other and take cultural differences into careful consideration when it comes to the design.

The language barrier can be a difficult one to overcome as well, and so the use of video chat programmes, such as Skype, are excellent because they incorporate video and text chat. That way, things can be made clearer. It also means that documents can be shared quickly to help the meetings progress.

Remember, the value of global teams is their diversity.

Understanding Needs

It is important that your research helps you to understand you want and need from a UX. Cultural differences need to be taken into consideration from the beginning. Things that are acceptable in one country could be seen as an insult or inappropriate in another. Therefore, your research must be clear and consistent.

When it comes to the design, you should also take into account the fact that the text will need to be displayed in the user’s native language in a way that they can understand and use. You have to accommodate the way in which business is conducted, the way that people communicate, and even the way in which images are presented.

When it comes to conducting tests for your UX, it is strongly recommended that you visit the country yourself so that you get a feel for the people and culture. You could also run the test remotely and have an experienced consultant run through it, but there are some technical things to consider.

Make sure you pay attention to each user, their experience, and the feedback that they provide you. Always take their comments on board so that you can better your own work. In this stage, you’ll get to know some of the lesser-known nuances in each culture, allowing you to gain a better understanding.


Choose a strategy that is going to work for your business. This means that you need to fully understand it and have readily available checks and balances to ensure that it will work if and when it is put into practice.

Develop a strategy for localisation early on, so that things are organised and prepared for global expansion. Local management of your UX team can work incredibly well as it means that everything can be watched carefully and it remains close-knit.

To Conclude

Research and design for global UX requires careful care and consideration. It is important to ensure that you know each culture that you are planning on releasing your UX to inside out. Ensuring that your teams are working together, planning together, and always keeping each other informed is also essential. It’s not always going to be an easy task, but the results it can (and will) generate are absolutely worth it.

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