Cross Cultural Research Kit

Masterthesis, UX Methods, UX Research, Toolkit 



WS 2019/2020


Prof. Constanze Langer

Dipl.Psych. Marian Gunkel


In context of globalization and digitalization‭, ‬designers are facing‭ ‬culture
specific challenges in designing interface solutions of products and services
for an international audience‭. ‬

The CrossCultural research kit is a framework and toolkit which help to analyze global‭ ‬and/or local needs for localization processes‭. ‬While common localization strategies
focus on translating language and formats of digital products, this framework generates specific data sets to integrate cultural values, mental models and contextual information into our design. In addition the Toolkit support teams to translate cultural data into UX/UI elements.



How can we address culture-specific needs of an international audience in UI/UX-Design?


The term culture can be understood as a system of signs and interpretations that influences our perception of the world. Thus, it sometimes affects the fundamental
way in which we personally deal with other people's problems and the solutions that
are considered to solve them. Especially when mediated through user interfaces,
the question of multicultural use arises in the context of the "cultural system". Here, expectations like e.g. mental models must be adapted to global and/or local needs.

The user interface represents the key element of a software and can cause different needs and contexts of use for culturally diverse user groups. If the conceptual model
and UI is not understandable to the user, this can have negative consequences for the use of a software.


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Research on cultural & local factors that effects the UX and UI  

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Building a design framework based on cultural models to generate data that can be translated into the particular design elements

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Creating a research tool-kit based on the framework and testing 


Collaboration is the only way to design in a culturally sensitive way and reduce the risk of stereotypes.This set can be seen as‭ ‬support for the localization process or development of your digital product‭. ‬It helps you to create‭  ‬useful information and methods to take cultural factors into account‭. ‬The kit is intended for optimizing and developing digital products in a global context but does not cover all intercultural aspects‭. ‬However‭, ‬it can be modified depending on the project and serves as a helpful guide for the intercultural design process‭.‬

The research method kit includes the Guide-Book, CrossCultural Card set for ideation‭, ‬cheat sheet‭, ‬methods for‭ (‬co)creation and evaluation tips‭.‬

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The kit requires little prior knowledge. The "CrossCultural Guide" provides access to basic information about cultural data. Topics from
the definition of the culture in the kit to the relationship between data
and design and the concrete application in the project are covered.



The cards help the team to develop a culture-conscious approach‭ ‬to their products and to explore culture in a meaningful way‭. ‬With‭ ‬the tool‭, ‬designers should be able to perform the following actions‭:‬


1‭) ‬identify which culture-specific data is relevant
    to the‭ ‬design and why


2‭) ‬to distinguish cultural characteristics from individual ones‭ ‬


3‭) ‬to conduct classical cultural research through design                  approaches


In addition‭, ‬the teams are encouraged to organize participatory‭ ‬activities and UX-research methods while explaining to stakeholders‭ ‬the relevance of culture in design‭. ‬The tool is suitable for a user‭-‬centered approach‭, ‬i.e‭. ‬the focus is on the interests of the intended‭ ‬user groups‭.‬



In order to apply the examined cultural data to design, the intercultural design process was developed. This allows the team to examine visible and invisible values of a culture, which can ultimately provide important information for the design. The generated data will be translated into design elements within the framework. These aspects represent the most important areas of culture in terms of the needs and private use of Interface and Service design‭. ‬



Cooperation with the target group is essential to ensure an authentic and deep understanding of the culture‭. In order to collect the cultural data of the intended users the team generate purposeful data through participative‭ ‬user research‭ ‬methods‭.‬ The book and cards provides a quick and short overview of‭ few UX methods which can be used and expanded infinitely‭.‬ 


evaluative UX-approach

explorative UX-approach

generative UX-approach


These are examples how the generated data with the kit would look like.



These are examples how the generated data would be translated into UI/UX Design elements. Therefore we I redesigned the danish App "to good to go" for the vietnamese market.

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