Stereotyped by Design: Pitfalls in Cross-Cultural User Research

Design research has a problem with race and ethnicity

Today, technologists design for a diverse, globalized world. To reach untapped markets at home and abroad, design researchers are increasingly examining how “culture” influences user behavior and mental models. However, common approaches to cross-cultural research can underestimate user diversity and promote stereotypes that have little explanatory power for design. Using examples from research projects with immigrant communities, this talk explores various cultural frameworks that can help product teams produce meaningful insights about users who don’t share the same background.

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