Implications of cultural differences between West and East on User Experience and Interaction Design

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för designvetenskaper; Lunds universitet/Ergonomi och aerosolteknologi

Abstract: Psychologists have until lately been rather likeminded when it comes to how the human brain is interpreting and processing different types of information. We react in certain ways when exposed to certain information but considering those reactions stem from experiments mainly conducted on Americans is not something that is considered to be of importance. Whereas these statements tend to hold true for many aspects, lately some studies executed on people from different countries with very different cultural background have investigated if those psychological rules indeed are applying on every individual being (Henrich, Heine, & Norenzayan, 2010). When it comes to how Westerners and Easterners (especially Americans and Chinese) process information, remarkably enough plenty of differences were discovered. This thesis will discuss those differences and attempt to analyse whether or not those inequalities could be used to understand how we may adjust technical products when it comes to designing products, mainly focusing on interaction design and user experience. It was found that there may be several relations to cultural background and that they might affect preference towards user interfaces. Even though the amount of participants lacked in some user groups, and more test subjects would be needed, some noticeable patterns were still discovered. It seems like a preference towards more interactivity and more complex and colourful design may be more appreciated by the typical Chinese user, while it seems like it’s basically the opposite for the typical western user.

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