The collision of cultural values is the everlasting challenge of global society that needs to be resolved as humanity takes its lightning step into the age of globalisation. UX design is also under this influence.

Human mental programmes, mind-sets and core values differ from culture to culture, and UX design is developed around the cornerstone of such psychological values of its target groups. Hence, designers need to be conscious of such diversity in cultural values when developing cross-cultural interfaces intended to be used by users in different cultures, to achieve well-balanced and satisfactory usability.

Design development process across cultures requires an extensive approach. This thesis uses research through design to describe the cross-cultural approach to UX design. A new double diamond process is presented along with the practice of bringing intangible pleasure to both cultures through an understanding of value in subjective depth. The findings of experimental work with participants from two cultures, Germany and South Korea, through interactive kiosk, a train ticket machine, shape the study. As a result, this research presents a new direction on how to effectively yield encouraging outcome from cross-cultural designs.


Research questions

In developing UX designs for two different cultures, what approach should be taken to ensure the most balanced and satisfactory outcome?

What is the role of design methodology in cross-cultural UX design?

What design methodology can assist designers to build better interactive kiosks UX design for cross-cultural target groups?

What are the key points to consider when developing a cohesive UX design solution for the two cultural groups during the research and implementation phase?

How can the satisfaction of two different cultural target groups' UX design experience in interactive kiosks be improved?

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Attributes and its depth of UX design for cross-cultural target groups

To better understand the design process and the possible goals in designing cross-cultural products and experiences, it is necessary to take a closer look at the different impact depths of design. The smaller the target group, the more accurately and precisely a result can be created that is perfectly tailored to their desires and needs. However, if the target group is expanded and more and more different cultural backgrounds, value systems and learned patterns are involved, the more attention must be paid to all these different demands.

What would be a perfect solution for one subgroup of the target group could confuse, or in the worst case, even offend another. It is therefore not possible to achieve the same depth or precision with cross-cultural design as with a smaller target group, which moves within a consistent range of values. The strength of cross-cultural design therefore lies not in personalisation but in finding universal solution.

In order to understand the different levels of human imprinting that designers can access as a resource of inspiration and user understanding, these were divided into categories and represented graphically.

The classification is fundamentally based on the descriptions of Geert Hofstede. The graphical representation of an acute triangle, represents the range of influence for the design of the different categories. If a designer only uses the resources in the upper part, principles can be worked out for a large group of people; the further the designer goes towards the apex of the triangle, the range of influence of the information obtained for the design decreases.

Conversely, when creating a UX deisgn solution for cross-cultural groups, the designer is unable to make the deep value of each group valid and approaches only the surface solution. The triangle becomes broad and shallow, and obtuse as the UX design solution. 

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