Designing for global audiences with different cultural backgrounds can be challenging.
To thrive in an international market, sites must go beyondtranslation and localization并获得市场用户与产品互动的第一手数据。即使main usability guidelines stay the same across countries，与国际观众进行测试reveal usability problems specific to those cultures。There are two main reasons to test with international users:
- International users may interact with your products differently or rely on specific features more heavily than local audiences.
- 男子tal models and how people interact with technology or organizations can vary from country to country.
国际可用性测试可以uncover issues with important site functionalities rarely used by your major group。
例如，国内用户很少可以切换网站语言。但对于国际用户来说，这个功能的可辨能至关重要。在我们在中国的用户学习期间，一位女性参与者试图在韩国衣服零售商可能 - 宝贝的移动版上购物。很快，她意识到该页面是用英语和韩语编写的，也没有人可以阅读。然后她想知道是否有中文版本，禁点导航菜单，没有运气。她花了很长时间才发现在页面页脚中的语言切换器。她在主页上滚动，在滚动约13次屏幕后，她终于看到了一排在页面底部的国旗。点击中国的旗帜将她带到了该网站的中文版。她说，“我认为这是一个很好的设计，显示出不同语言的国旗，因为也许我不知道如何在英语或韩语中说”语言“。但为什么他们在这么长的页面结束时把它放在最后？ I may have missed it.”
衣服尺寸是可以不同的另一个特点m country to country, as are measurement units of choice. People shopping on a foreign site may feel they need to understand sizing and use tools such as size guides more than domestic users. A study participant tried to shop for a pair of jeans at Zara.cn, but she wasn’t able to properly access it. When she clicked the尺寸指南巴顿，一张覆盖着一位女性穿着牛仔裤的大照片出现了。用户应该选择一个尺寸，以便在图像顶部显示尺寸。但是，不幸的是，她不明白的是：选择尺码label and the tiny arrow associated with it were very close to the bottom of the page. She was confused, “Where is the guide? It’s just a picture.”
Culturally Specific Issues
除了一般可用性故障,usability testing can also identify culturally specific problems during international usability testing related to:
- Interaction with your organization
While it’s neither possible nor necessary to figure out how all contextual factors impact the user experience, you may be able to identify issues such asbroadband limitations。
例如，when we conducted远程可用性测试with Indian participants recently, we observed that several participants had to wait for a long time to load websites. Fancy websites full of animations, pictures, and videos only made it worse.
When a participant visited the Decathlon site on his mobile phone, he waited 20 seconds for the navigation to load (and it didn’t). The navigation was very complex, with lots of pictures and even an embedded search feature. He finally turned to the site’s search bar instead of waiting for the navigation to load fully. “The website is pretty heavy to load,” he commented.
Your product’scompatibility with users’ preferred devices or software, like operating systems or browsers,is also vital。Since people are so used to these essential tools and have no problems browsing domestic websites, if your product doesn’t work, your users will believe it’s your problem, but not theirs.
We observed several such cases when we conducted ecommerce research study with Chinese participants. For example, a female participant tried to pick a lipstick for her friend’s birthday. She had no issues choosing a lipstick when visiting the mobile version of the Chinese MAC Cosmetics, but couldn’t check out for some reason. The cart button just wouldn’t work. She was disappointed about the site and believed something was wrong with it.
(However, you shouldn’t rely only on usability testing to find out compatibility issues; for small user segments, it can be hard to identify them during testing. Teams working on international products should consider these compatibility problems early in the design and development stages by checking platform-usage data.)
(Typically, we don’t allow other people to interfere with participants when they perform the tasks. However, we make exceptions in cases like this, because it’s a reflection of how the user actually uses digital technology in real life. Another example would be when parents help out young kids with tech issues.)
Perception of the Product
How do your international users perceive the visual design of your products? How do they feel about your products or services before and after performing some tasks? How much do they trust your brand?
人from different cultural backgrounds have different visual-design preferences。研究人员Katharina Reinecke和Krzysztof Gajos在世界各地的39,000多名与会者的网站美学上收集了240万个主观评分。他们发现俄罗斯参与者显着优选的是视觉复杂性较低的网站，而来自墨西哥和智利的人们对具有高视觉复杂性的网站提供了更高的分数。同样的研究还发现，单色设计是由芬兰人，俄罗斯人，法国和德国人优先的，而马来西亚人和智利人往往喜欢五颜六色的视觉效果。同样，我们在中国之前的研究也发现了Chinese participants had a higher tolerance for high visual-complexity websitesthan foreign users.
超越立即审美评估，usability testing can also uncover how users, especially newcomers, perceive the credibility and trustworthiness of your products or services. 例如，不同的目标受众可能认为不同的设计组件是可信的。
When we tested the Chinese version of the Australian pharmacy website Pharmacy Online with Chinese participants, several people praised its credibility. They appreciated that the site had a navigation UI similar to that of Chinese ecommerce websites and also localized components such as a WeChat official account. These elements made the website look familiar to them.
Consumption of Content
Can international users easily understand the information presented on your site? Do they like itstone of voice? Do they find the content helpful and how do they make use of it?
Testing your content如果您的全球受众尤其重要，如果您使用的网站（例如，美国，澳大利亚，UK）使用相同的语言版本拥有多种文化多样化的观众，请使用相同的语言版本。
例如，当我们测试中文版的匡威网站时，一位年轻男性参与者抱怨标签。而不是传统的电子商务标签男子,Women， 和配件, Converse China used伙计男的,Dudette.女的。(It is hard to find English equivalents to these two labels. In Chinese, these words often have a negative connotation, instead of the casual tone indicated by the English words伙计和Dudette。)
参与者为时尚鞋店购物了很多，属于匡威的目标受众，说：“它说伙计和Dudette.而不是男子和Women。It makes me feel uncomfortable. It’s a little bit casual, and I feel they don’t respect people.”
除了内容本身和语调，不同文化背景的人对内容的组织方式有不同的偏好. 例如，people in high-context cultures like China are used with websites with high information density并且可能更喜欢它们具有相对低信息密度的人。
You can also find out whether the content you offer is helpful or whether you need to provide specific, additional content that these target audiences may be used to on similar sites.
For example, an Indian participant wasn’t satisfied with the dimension information (in centimeters) provided for photo frames on Myntra. “This is funny because when we measure the wall décor, we use inches instead of centimeters. So, the size information they provided was not useful.” (Some cultures in India prefer inches, others centimeters.)
During our ecommerce study in China, a participant shopping for Nike shoes wanted a popularity-filter feature, which was available on almost all domestic retailer sites. He complained, “There are no filters on popularity! I want to know which ones sell best, so that I’m wearing the most popular style.”
Interaction with Your Organization
How do your international users typically interact with your organization or with other similar organizations? Are there any channels that tend to be used more frequently than others?
When we ran an in-person university website study in China, a participant tried to figure out York University’s transfer student requirements. She wasn't happy with the website's vague information and was upset to learn that she needed to communicate with the institution through emails: “I don’t think it’s a proper way to communicate with Chinese students. I’d prefer some instant communication methods like an online Open Day through Skype.”
来自不同文化的人也可以更喜欢与他们最喜欢的品牌保持更新的平台. 开放式和探索性的可用性测试任务，如Check out whether any of your favorite brands launched something new可以显示他们的喜好和浏览模式。
例如，在美国进行的社交媒体可用性测试中，我们将这些问题与认知映射activity. We found that participants believed that organizations were more active on Twitter than on Facebook. Several used Instagram to follow different fashion-related businesses. They didn’t link use Snapchat to engage with businesses at all. In China, WeChat and Weibo (the equivalent of Twitter) are the most used social-media channels for engaging with businesses.
You should conduct usability testing with global audiences early in the product-development stage, when planning your strategy and product launch in a new market。甚至paper prototyping可以为您提供关于特定文化和一般可用性问题的丰富见解。
You don’t have to identify all issues in one round of tests. Sometimes, running several rounds of small tests with a different focus is cheaper and easier. For instance, you can test basic usability issues, content, and tone of voice for the first round, while also observing context of use. A second round can focus on testing and prioritizing localized features and components.
产品发布后，您可以进行测试以进行研究全局组件的可用性，用于所有市场，并进一步调查您应该本地化的其他功能to keep competitive in the new market。
Once your product has been known to your new market for a while, runningquantitative usability testing,often used forbenchmarking,can also benefit you。Keep track of your chosen success metrics and monitor them for major changes to evaluate your design work and compare your performance with industry standards.
Reinecke, K., & Gajos, K. Z. (2014, April). Quantifying visual preferences around the world. In计算系统中的人类因素会议诉讼程序（第11-20页）。