Cultural Design Compass: Who Do You Design For?
European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (EUSSET)
The cultural background of our users and its impact on using technology as well as the cultural background of the developers and its infuence on design decisions, is often not considered in research. This paper demonstrates how to self-assess previously derived design recommendations regarding cultural preferences and how to discover potential for improvement. Therefore, 52 design recommendations for large public displays were assigned to cultural dimensions of Hofstede. They were derived by our research group within the last 4 years. As a result, a cultural design compass was developed, visualizing the distribution of design recommendations across the cultural dimensions and indicating areas of focus (e.g. high uncertainty avoidance). The distribution of design recommendations among the cultural dimensions almost completely coincide with Hofstede’s cultural dimension indices for the German culture, showing that there is a high chance to subconsciously derive design recommendations based on our own cultural imprint. In addition, the compass can be used to incorporate cultural indices of other user groups and nationalities to identify design aspects that need improvement. Consequently, without having in mind that cultural preferences and differences exist, the design may not ft u sers w ith d ifferent c ultural b ackgrounds. T he c ultural d esign c ompass s hould support future research within human-computer- interaction to design more precisely for a particular user group, to better classify design recommendations, and to verify whether they match the required users’ cultural preferences.