When it comes to using elements for design, it’s easy to want to stick with what you know, and what you’re good at. Broadening your horizons, however, should be something you’re also eager to do. One of the best ways to challenge yourself is to try your hand at translating and incorporating cross-cultural designs to tap into new markets.
What Is Cross-Cultural Design
Cross-cultural design is the practice of ensuring that ongoing design work focuses on becoming influenced by and informed by localising design and content for a new market. It takes the traditions, histories, emblems, and other cultural nuances and encompasses, adapt and tailors it into a way in which design work then supports the local customers, businesses, or broadens current market horizons.
Why Is Cross-Cultural Design Important
With the rise of multiculturalism, it is important to be able to speak to all the customers, potential customers and market share yet to be tapped. With migrants, immigrants and asylum seekers settling into new countries and continents, it helps to make this market demographic feel more at ease with brands who speak to them or their heritage directly.
This in turn often boosts sales for companies and leads to greater brand loyalty in the long run. More and more companies are seeking to add new voices to their marketing initiatives and seek designers who are able to tap into and access these emerging markets.
Four Things To Consider In Your Cross-Cultural Design
- Colour: One of the top places to start with in design is with colour, especially since the colours you choose can be of great cultural significance, such as green being associated with health and healing in China, good fortune in Ireland, and death in South America.
- Information layouts: In some cultures, the more information you can include, the better, while in other cultures, it’s best to design things minimally with options to go more in depth at a later stage. Take for example Swedish websites which favour a sleek, minimal approach where users can click subsections for more information, vs Japanese websites which offer a far more content rich home page and cater to a right to left reading style.
- Language: The language used in designs is important as you cannot always just directly translate products and services. Instead, time should be spent to highly customise the words used and find ways to include local nuances, terms and even idioms.
- Images: Visuals play a large role in design and great care needs to be taken to include ones which speak to the target audiences and markets as a whole. While scantily clad women in swimsuits may make easy sales in Western audiences, the same is not true when shown in Eastern cultures, especially those who have highly religious standards.
By including cross-cultural designs in your projects – whether they’re for a corporate entity or an online casino Canada, customers are more likely to relate to and engage with businesses and support their initiatives since they feel that they are being catered to.