User Experience, or UX, is the practical and perceptive development of a person’s emotional and attitudinal relationship towards tools. Essentially, any end-user’s interaction with a product or service is the makings of user experience. In terms of your business, this means integrating various elements so that a user’s needs, goals, desires, and expectations, are systematically and seamlessly met. These days, UX is closely aligned, but not synonymous, with web design and how businesses can develop their Internet presence through tailored UX design.

One of the big mistakes that  businesses may develop is failing to innovate products sufficiently in such a fast-paced world of technological development. Such a mistake is what contributed to the 2010 fall of Myspace according to CEO DeWolfe who said “we (Myspace) focused on money and Facebook focused on growing the user base and user experience”. By concentrating on UX, Facebook rapidly surpassed Myspace, and has dominated the social media environment ever since.

In such a case study, Facebook’s  approach to satisfying user needs seems like a good general approach (good UX equals strong user base). However, what works for one business in one market may not work for others. Consider user facing visual UX differences from Chinese and Western perspectives. Chinese webpages are typically more composite, filled with lines upon lines of boxy text and squished in advertisements that, to most Western users, feel clunky and overwhelming. However, due to the complexities of Chinese characters and their multifunctional attributes, combined with early tech infrastructure that resulted in poor download speeds, text ruled the Chinese information highway, and aesthetic imagery took the scenic route. Only recently, in part because of Chinese users leading the charge with mobile usage, new UX design is emerging from China that is aesthetically cleaner yet also authentically retains the multifunctional artifacts of early Chinese UX design.

Consequently, one of the indisputable driving forces of UX design is culture. To be truly authentic to your markets, you must consider such encompassing ideas as how your users engage in regular activities, how they align certain moods to certain colors, and how they have developed inclinations towards particular patterns. All these factors play a significant role in UX design. To drive your business goals, it is important that all facets of your UX, from early prototypes to final out-of-the-box approaches, are designed in accordance to the culture  of the target market to successfully create and maintain a profound and enjoyable user experience.

Written by Erin Strong – Senior Technical Writer at CSOFT International
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