Cultural relativism is the understanding that a person’s behaviors and activities should be interpreted in the context of their own culture. We rely heavily on this principle to understand user groups in order to design digital systems for them. Our current models for understanding and quantifying cultural relativism are on the international scale; we see Americans as a group distinct from Japanese, who are again distinct from British. However, this may not be enough. The current socio-political climate in America demonstrates that the cultural influences even within a nation might be misunderstood. This talk will explore some of the current frameworks we have to understand culture, and propose ways to better work them into our design practices.
To understand cultural relativism as a framework to think about users from different backgrounds in order to better design for them.
Folks who are interested in better ways to understand other people
Five Things Audience Members Will Learn
- What cultural relativism is and how it applies to the design process
- Case studies of companies failing to enter new markets because of cultural differences
- Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory
- Edward Hall’s Primary Message Systems
- How to use these methods for better research