How to Overcome the Cultural
Barriers in Mobile UX

Thursday November 10th, 2016

Just as you face cultural barriers when traveling from your home to another region, your app will likely face the same when it is downloaded from the play store and installed on the user’s mobile device.

So, having a great app idea is only good until you execute it. Once you start, you will face some major hurdles in terms of designing a seamless and memorable user experience (UX), while ensuring that the UX meets the cultural requirements of the users who belong to different regions and cultures.

For this reason, you have to spend a good amount of time identifying ways in which you can design a localized mobile UX to conquer cultural barriers. And, we’ve made it easier for you by putting together a few tips to do just that.

Tips to Overcome Cultural Barriers in Mobile UX

Understand the Persona of Your Target Audience

It is not enough to simply know who your audience is, especially with so many different customer segments in every part of the world. You also have to understand their cultural preferences. So, you must develop a localized mobile UX by considering the fact that every culture will have different interpretations of your app’s design and will consume the content in varied ways.

It is here that user personas make it relatively easy to assess the different cultures and design the most appropriate UX. With the help of such personas, you will be able to consider multiple cultural factors, diverse audience behaviors, languages, images, and color hues.

It is effective to first identify various elements related to the persona (a name, along with details about the responsibilities and attributes of the same) and visual data that assists in building personal relations. All in all, personas enable you to come up with a realistic and reliable representation of your app’s broad audience.

Understand the Role of Culture

If you think that targeting various countries would be enough, think again. The different cultural affinities that separate the regions of a nation may significantly impact whether your app is a success or not. So, dig deep and understand the elements that vary from region to region. Some of these elements include tradition, language, and color.

For example, a particular color may be considered lucky in one culture, while being treated as a bad omen in another. It would thus be wise to aim for colors that are universally acceptable and do not have varying interpretations across different cultures.

You should also use visual cues (color, attire and style, icons and symbols, and typography) appropriately to create a connection between the mobile app and its audience.

Use a Cross-Cultural UX

Since your mobile app will be used by people influenced by varied cultural elements, it would be ideal to optimize a cross-cultural UX design in which the app is designed differently for different locations. This would help you tackle the cultural differences and keep your audience pleased.

We hope that the above information on how to tackle cultural barriers and design a localized mobile UX proves useful to you. Please feel free to share your experience in dealing with cultural differences during the development of mobile apps. Do you have any queries or issues? Let us know in the comments section below.