Global Design is the go-to site for aspiring designers who are interested in learning more about how to design cross-cultural and international products. It is a set of guidelines for designing products that are trying to either internationalize or localize. Global Design also directs designers to additional design resources.
View the full resource here.
Scope: Personal Project
Duration: 3 weeks (3 weeks development, 2 weeks research/writing), October 2022
Cross-cultural design and designing for global audiences are topics that are not commonly discussed by general designers. Currently, there are very few sources on the internet that provide a comprehensive but concise set of guidelines for designing products on a global level.
Designers need a reliable resource of guidlines for designing global products.
The value of understanding how to design products that span languages and cultures are very inherent because so many products such as Airbnb and Uber pride themselves on delivering great experiences across multiple demographics.
Over the course of two weeks, I conducted research over the internet on the methodologies and considerations that go into efficiently designing global products.
The main issue that I found when it comes to global design is that in many cases, design mistakes related to cross-cultural design and international design are fixed after receiving negative customer feedback when the product was already shipped and launched.
Thus, I hope that my project take on three roles for my readers and users:
FrameworkI hope that this website provides people with ideas on how to incorporate cross-cultural design-thinking into their existing design processes and steps such as user research.
ToolsOn this website, I have provided various links to other resources that are related to international design such as Google's font support resources as well as international research findings through Nielson Norman Group.
InspirationI hope that this website can inspire more people to explore diverse disciplines within design - whether it is cross-cultural design, sustainable design, or inclusive design.
As of October 2022, the website you see is a simple prototype. I have implemented some initial information sections - Introduction, User Research, Language, Culture - with light content. I have also implemented an i18n Language translation feature where you can choose to read the site from available languages. I will continue to build and improve the site as I gain more technical knowledge as well as conduct more research on design methods.
Below are the principles that I hope designers can apply to their processes:
Designers must be very intentional about the approach that they take to design for their specific international audience and know whether their design is trying to either internationalize or localize.
It is essential for designers to be objective about their assumptions and biases. Practice high levels of user empathy to create designs that are loved by users from various backgrounds.
Effectively designing international products means being meticulous with every aspect of the design to make sure the final product has great usability and user experience across the user groups.
Culture and user preferences are continuously evolving. Adopt a design process cycle that allows for efficient user testing and user research so that designs can be refined regularly.
Aside from my portfolio website, this is the first project that I have created where I take both the role of designer and developer. My experience in doing this project has been extremely rewarding because I was able to get a good sense of the challenges that are associated with transforming designs into a responsive prototype that is built with code. Working with new front-end technology Astro as well as React was also eye-opening in showing me the variety of tools I can incorporate into the site to make the user experience more powerful not just from a design standpoint but also from a feature standpoint.