Globalization is here, and it means an exciting era for design, specifically for design in User Interface and User Experience (UI/UX). How users interact with web design differs across the globe, but there are some common themes that UI/UX experts have noticed in good (and bad) design. Below are 3 tips for creating a good and successful user experience that can boost conversion rates and improve that bottom line, no matter where your users reside.
1. Consider access and device in design.
Even today, there are great disparities in internet access between groups of people all over the world. Having downloadable, offline content is a helpful feature for populations with poor internet access. Furthermore, the number of mobile device users is drastically outgrowing desktop users. Most of today’s emerging users are also likely operating on an older system and smaller screen. Designers should consider devices’ bandwidth and performance limitations and be aware of content that may not display timely or properly.
2. Hire a local copywriter.
Copy comes before design as a general rule, but especially when designing for a global audience. There are infinite language differences that determine design elements: the font type and size, average word length, reading left-to-right or right-to-left, and format differences, such as dates, phone numbers, and addresses. A local copywriter, preferably native to the language, will know these linguistic intricacies that can limit design possibilities.
3. Research culture-specific characteristics.
The interpretations of color vary across the globe and greatly influence users to take action. For example, many Asian cultures appreciate bright colors on a wide spectrum with a busy design. Conversely, many Western cultures prefer minimalistic layouts with few colors. Symbols, icons, & images may also have different connotative meanings based on norms & values. One example is how an owl symbolizes wisdom in the West and bad luck or a harbinger of death in some African and Asian cultures. Be careful with imagery by researching the culture’s history of associated meanings.
While the fundamental idea underlying UI/UX design seems new age and egalitarian, the main purpose is to increase conversions. So being culturally sensitive to the needs of each user is not only good for goodness’ sake but also good for business. Think about access and device display, hire a local writer, and do your research and your design will become a targeted conversion machine.