Posts tagged “cross cultural research”

My UXWeek Session

Here is a link to a podcast page for my recent talk at Adaptive Path’s UXWeek.

Effective user research requires both observation and interviewing. When doing research we strive to get outside our own default expectations and perceptions, in order to better see the details of what we’re looking at, in other words, to understand the cultural context. This third component is the most crucial to innovation. Interesting things happen when we leave our homes and our comfort zone, perhaps in another country where business, language, food, and more is beyond our own frames of reference.

Steve Portigal, founder of Portigal Consulting, offers expert tips in both observation and interviewing, and considers the challenges and opportunities in conducting research abroad. He believes that one way to better understand a different culture is to look at how things in your own culture are handled differently. He gives some examples of how some things are promoted differently in Japan than in the United States. He states that mundane observations reveal important cultural differences.

Here are the slides

I’ll be curious how others fare; I couldn’t get it to go past slide 6, although I could go to the end and page backwards. I’ve reported a bug and hope it gets fixed, but since it’s just been launched and getting some buzz, who knows. I re-uploaded and replaced it with a version that works. They are working on tracking down the problem with the last version.

Cross-Cultural Research

Notes from my UXWeek session are online (not sure how helpful they are without hearing me talk through the issues, (Update: you can hear me talk through the issues here) but if you want to, check out Dan Saffer’s notes or the notes from the wiki.


Hawai’i makai/mauka signs
different orientation toward navigation: toward mountain, toward ocean
difference in how we move through space

so what?
mundane observations reveal differences in cultural needs or drivers


About Steve