TUTCRIS - Tampereen teknillinen yliopisto


Online Surveys in Collecting Cross-Cultural Qualitative User Experience Feedback



KustantajaTampere University of Technology
ISBN (elektroninen)978-952-15-3733-2
ISBN (painettu)978-952-15-3719-6
TilaJulkaistu - 15 huhtikuuta 2016
OKM-julkaisutyyppiG5 Artikkeliväitöskirja


NimiTampere University of Technology. Publication
ISSN (painettu)1459-2045


Globalisation of markets means that many interactive technology products and services need to be usable and provide a positive User Experience (UX) to people in various target market areas. Simultaneously, over the last decade, positive UX has become an important quality attribute and a business-critical asset in the design of interactive technology products and services. Different countries have different cultural values, which direct the way in which people interpret and use technology products and services. Therefore, to ensure that products and services are easy to use and that they provide a positive UX across cultural boundaries, there is a need to understand how local cultures may affect the use of and interaction with technology. Cultural issues affect not only the UX of technology products and services but also the UX research methods. Culture itself is a complex concept affecting a vast area of human life and interaction. Consequently, designers are facing challenges in creating a delightful UX for an increasing number of users from different cultural backgrounds.

In this thesis work, we aim to produce original contributions by investigating and developing better online survey tools and insights about their applicability in cross-cultural remote online UX research. Remote online methods are needed in increasing cross-cultural UX research, and they are considered practical, and may have extensive and wide scale samples suited to cross-cultural UX research. In particular, we aim to understand how an online survey fits into a cross-cultural UX research in terms of collecting qualitative feedback. As the goal is to understand online UX surveys and users in different local cultures it is our aim to gain knowledge about what kind of cultural issues affect these surveys and how they should be taken into consideration in human-centred design (HCD). We focus on studying how qualitative material such as textual and visual materials can be used in cross-cultural online UX surveys. We reflect on the practical implications of the results in a theoretical concept of cross-cultural online UX survey process. Our research has a multiple-case research design strategy and most of our case studies were executed in a real product development context with an emphasis on the qualitative research.

We found that online surveys with sentence completion, diaries and storyboards are well suited to crosscultural UX research in collecting qualitative feedback. The central cross-cultural issues having implications for cross-cultural, qualitative online UX surveys concerned textual and visual materials. With regards to the textual material in collecting cross-cultural, qualitative UX feedback, we found that there are cultural differences in how respondents understand, interpret and share their experiences in an online UX survey. For example, culture has an effect on language and communication style, which in turn have an effect on the answers. Furthermore, we found that the use of the sentence completion method in an online UX survey is relatively fast and easy way to collect a large amount of cross-cultural, qualitative UX feedback regarding the different UX dimensions for product development purposes. The use of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions in the data analysis gives a better understanding of the impact of specific cultures on the results.

Concerning the visual material, we found that storyboards assisted respondents in providing rich answers to a long survey because of a sound understanding of the intended situations, and ease of imagining themselves in different usage scenarios. The use of internationalised and localised storyboards allowed us to collect UX feedback, even though respondents had never used or seen the intended product. They were able to give feedback and ideas for design in the early phase of product development in requirement gathering. Using culture as a resource for design involving local users in the design process supports HCD principles. We presented the main phases in a theoretical concept of cross-cultural online UX survey process to help designers include cultural issues in the design of a cross-cultural online UX survey.

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