User-Centered Design in China

User-Centered Design in China

Who wants to employ a smart strategy for sustainable business success in China?

User Experience (UX) Research encompasses many investigative methods used to gain insight into the design process and consumer’s interaction with it. User experience is all about the design of a product or service to fit the needs of the users. “Knowing the end-users’ opinion in your industry is crucial today because finally, this is the key success into the market,” says Hu Yuwan, project manager at Daxue Consulting. UX research in China, sometimes also called user-centered design in China, helps to understand and uncover the actual needs of users through improved user-centered design and processes also more customers having a better user experience, which in turn increases customer loyalty.

Essential facts you should know about China: user-centered design in China needs relevant market insights

China, as the engine of global growth and with the world’s largest population, is an attractive market. However, doing business in the country needs a comprehensive understanding of culture, people, and language to be able to operate successfully. The user experience research’s purpose is to discover hidden insights, patterns, and preferences of your end-users with your product or service, which is particularly crucial in China. The goal is to build user experience with a lasting impact on your potential customers, that means everyone targeted shall be able to understand the content, know how to handle the processes and feel delighted after using. Particularly in China, it is crucial for an international company, to adapt and fulfill the targeted consumer’s expectations.

David Matthieu, president and founder of Daxue Consulting, says: “Imagine a web page. It is not enough to just translate the language. It also means acculturation; the Chinese culture of common use needs to be taken into consideration for the web design.  That can be the use of different fonts, the way Chinese go through a web page (infinite scrolling) vs. the way Western people look at a web page, Chinese content-heavy homepages vs. western websites with a lot of white space, characters vs. letters, search functions, what goes through the great firewall and what not, and many more issues to consider. Chinese characters represent entire words in contrast to the western letters, which do not mean anything by itself. That results in being able to have a lot more content and at the same time need less space to express the same thing.” Therefore, the business structure as a whole should comply with market specificities in China to be able to outperform competitors.

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Visual 1_Methodology_Chinese Webdesign

How to deliver a delightful user experience for the customer

Every UX project is different and unique, and the tasks that one researcher takes on will differ from those appropriate in another setting. The research team of Daxue Consulting executes a range of methods, in any combination possible, comprising observation, understanding, and analysis. Some of the most common methodologies which UX research encompasses are usability tests, click testing, scroll tracking or eye tracking, card sorts, tree tests, multivariate tests or A/B testing. Also, desirability studies or diary studies, as well as heuristic analyses, may be conducted. However, there is not one formula to select the best methods; it is necessary to understand the stage of product development as well as the objective of the project to take an accurate decision and finally develop an outstanding user experience for your customer.

Why User Experience research is really worth investing

Every business takes decisions day by day, overcomes challenges, and experiences failures. Project failure can sometimes weak User Experience, as for instance, poor communication among customers, developers, and users or wrongly defined requirements.

Thus, user-centered design in China of a product or service is crucial, no matter if you are operating within the B2C or B2B market. Whatever you learn about your customer, use this feedback for improvement. The cost of not providing a good UX or not using UX patterns may because user experience dramatically impacts customer loyalty. For instance, customers may abandon before they, in fact, make use of your product or service, if it is not easy to use, does not fit the clients’ expectations or does not meet their goals. On the other side of the coin, the benefits you can get from UX are measurable in non-financial terms, such as fewer calls to the service line, less time spending on rework, decreasing the churn-rate, more people registering, and more. Also, in financial terms, you can calculate the value of User Experience. It has been estimated that for every 1$ investment on usability, we get at least 2$ in return from the market (Source: The UX Book by Rex Hartson & Pardha Pyla).

To put it short and straightforward: UX Research pays off.

Insanely powerful: UX in the digital world

Daxue Consulting uses UX Research as part of its projects, mainly for those related to the digital area. The design research is an essential method to work with, especially in sectors such as gaming, apps, IoT, e-commerce, and media but also in every other business field including services and products. David Matthieu says: “Imagine UX for instance, in the gaming sector, you want the people to keep playing.” to discover the actual needs of your consumers and to be able to adopt your product or service towards them. Our experienced team at Daxue Consulting, for instance, worked for that reason for Allianz, one of the world’s largest financial services groups, to test a new smartphone application. Moreover, Daxue Consulting recently carried out a project for a client who aimed to enter the Chinese market with a new service within the digital field. The customer’s goal was to develop the most appropriate design for their service and to get insight into the perspective of their potential end users as well as the consumer’s interaction with all aspects of it.

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Virtual Reality Research: the future of User Experience Research?

 Technologies for virtual reality create completely new possibilities of a realistic interacting with products, places, and objects that do not yet exist. It is not a question of depicting all aspects of reality, but those which are of major importance for human perception. The digital research, therefore, opens a whole new world to evaluate the interaction of humans with products, their success factor as well as most important barriers. Application areas are, for instance, the ergonomic testing of virtual products, placement on the shelf, or packaging. Matthieu David adds, “It allows you, for example, to easily change the color or anything else and test it, before you develop the real product”. It makes it possible to keep hold of every moment of a virtual consumer experience – with any product or in any store. Virtual Reality Research has, therefore, the great potential to become the next step of User Experience Research.

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 A brilliant combination to maximize your market insights

The market research team at Daxue Consulting incorporates Desk Research at the beginning of each project to understand the current situation of the general market. In many UX projects, culture differences may be particularly relevant based on differences in, for instance, the adoption of technology, generational differences, or in how people use and think about technologies. The market research team at Daxue Consulting takes all those factors into consideration. Moreover, Daxue includes trends and future market development in their final recommendations and uses benchmark testing to uncover key competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, to advise what to adopt and what to avoid.

This powerful combination Daxue Consulting applies – user-centered design in China through UX research linked with comprehensive market research – leads to maximization of user experience while discovering the full range of opportunities, challenges, and trends on the market.

To know more about our UX research expertise, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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