The term 'Global UX' seems to take under its wings two main strands of thought: the design of products and services offering great user experiences that account for and embrace differences in language, culture, and location. And the connections forged and fostered between UX professionals plying their trade on radically different parts of the globe.
The beauty of the UX industry, perhaps in contrast to other industries, is that we're all at home online. Here in New Zealand, as far-flung location-wise as we could be from much of the world's UX action, we're intimately connected with our colleagues and customers because a willingness to share our knowledge and personalities online.
Conferences, for example. We attend international conferences in person as much as possible, but if we don't attend we follow them on Twitter, and watch live feeds, and check out the slideshare decks, and read the blogs.
For those of us in the industry, there's not much stopping us from starting conversations and sharing ideas. And the more we connect with our contemporaries in different countries, the more we'll be able to understand the people that use our products and services.
Global UX — What the experts have to say
Whitney Quesenbery and Daniel Szuc spearheaded the theory of Global UX, and took us on a comprehensive and compelling journey in their book Global UX: Design and Research in a Connected World. We wanted to share the love and continue the conversation they started, so we ran a competition asking people 'What does Global UX mean to you?'
People from all around the world sent us responses, and Whitney and Daniel were happy to judge the competition and provide us with their thoughts on diversity as it relates to Global UX:
'We all have some interesting things to share with others—things that show our diversity. It is important to recognize and celebrate diversity. But we should also ensure that we don’t focus too much on our differences for the sake of their being differences rather than understanding how our differences and similarities play out in the designs we create and the work that we do. We must be able to appreciate where we all come from and give that the respect it deserves, but, at the same time, let ourselves move toward being able to see new moments and opportunities.'
And the winner of the competition? Andrea Zehnder answered simply that Global UX means being:
'Open, aware, relevant. Inspired by what we know and what we don't.' - Andrea
'What does Global UX mean to you?' — some great answers from around the globe
Here's some great responses we received over the past week. Let us know which response is your favourite, and feel free to answer the question yourself in the comments section.
'We have to be prepared that whatever it is we're creating/designing/building/testing could be experienced by just about anyone, anywhere.' - Ian
'Global UX is the art and science of using design patterns that transcend local and nation-specific language and social mores, developing solutions that work across geographic boundaries and multiple device technologies.' - Adrian
'Thinking outside our provincial box. Yes, yes, we all know that we are not our users, but in a global context, we're REALLY not our users.' - Wendy
'Global UX to me means hitting the mark on diversity and inclusion. The UX Design team must be world savvy and be willing to spend the time in research and persona development necessary to deliver a product that will delight all.' - Kmolosky
'It means being part of a global team (members from many parts of the world) as part of a global organization (such as a company that does business in many countries) and designing experiences for a global audience (users and customers from many cultures).' - Keith
'As a UX professional working in a team spanning from USA to Vietnam across UK, Spain and The Netherlands, 'Global UX' is something that forces you to give the best of you everyday.' - Antonio
'It means being curious and being willing to sate that curiosity. I recently did some intl user research (involving travel) and was totally shocked by how much I'd become trapped in my local bubble - what was especially shocking was that the local market is a fraction of the market out there...' - Phil
'It means recognising we live in a transient global community whilst also respecting localised culture. Place yourself on the moon and do your best for everyone.' - Paul
'Internationalization/Internationalisation. Globalization & Localization, Glocalization (brrr!). Translation and "double texting". EASL. Reading levels. Cultural differences. Problems and challenges. Near you and near me.' - Peter