Guide to International User Research

UX research is sensitive to the cultural differences of each country. Here you can find some considerations about the particularities of each country, where one of our partners is ready to assist you.

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All Countries
Americas
Europe, Middle East, Africa
Asia Pacific

Argentina

Inter-Cultura

Argentina

  • A good screener that asks open-ended questions is important to weed out respondents that might not be forthcoming with their responses.
  • Ensure any artefacts that are used for research and shown to the participants are in Spanish and adapted to the local use. Argentinian Spanish is slightly different form the rest of Latin America.
  • Provide an incentive that truly shows that you value the participants time and compensates travel costs.
  • Always require a local facilitator. It's important to be onboard with local culture and context to get better insights.
  • Ask for activities at least 3 weeks in advance.
  • Pre-select a few extra participants, no-shows are relatively frequent.
  • Don't schedule interviews during holidays or weekends as that will increase your chances of having no-shows.
  • If possible, avoid Mondays and Fridays for the same reason.
  • In general, it is not a good idea to call a potential participant after 6pm, but sometimes they ask you to.
  • Don’t schedule sessions too close together, as it is very possible people will be running late and that will affect the time the next session starts.
  • Don't plan for more that 5 or 6 (if brief) sessions a day.
  • Argentina has fixed and non-fixed holidays. Please contact us if you are willing to run a research project to confirm the schedule.
  • January 1 New Year's Day
  • March 4-5 Carnival
  • March 24 Truth and Justice Day
  • April 2 Malvinas Day
  • April 18-19 Passions Week
  • May 1 Labour Day
  • May 25 Revolution Day
  • June 17 Martín Miguel de Güemes' Day
  • June 20 Flag Day
  • July 8-9 Independence Day Holiday
  • August 17-19 Death of San Martin
  • October 12-14 Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity
  • November 18 National Sovereignty Day
  • December 8 Immaculate Conception
  • December 24-25 Christmas Day
  • Testing time can depend on the target (student vs professional), but usually it's best to keep it during office hours (9am to 6pm).

Member:

Australia

U1 Group

Australia

  • It is typically easy to schedule one-on-one research for day-time for general population audiences, evening sessions may be required for more specific audience types.
  • It is recommended to pay participants in cash rather than vouchers, typical amounts are $80-$100 for a one-hour one-on-one research session for a generic audience, and $100-$120 for a 90-minute group session.
  • Wherever possible, restrict length of research sessions to 60 minutes to maintain participant motivation and engagement improve ease of recruitment.
  • If a client wants to recruit from a customer list try to encourage them to use an external recruiter as there are significant hurdles that need to be addressed when releasing customer contact details to third parties. If a client insists then ask them to send an invitation to participate in research to their customers and then pass on details of all who express an interest in participation.
  • Don't pay participants their incentive until the research session is complete. Some recruitment firms will manage payment of incentives on your behalf for an extra fee.
  • Try to avoid running research sessions on Fridays, or at least Friday afternoons, to reduce the likelihood of no-shows.
  • It is recommended to allow a 30-minute gap between research sessions.
  • It is not necessary to create a detailed recruitment screener, Australian recruitment firms are accustomed to receiving a specification detailing the requirements for a research project and then prepare a screener for your approval.

Member:

Brazil

Try Consultoria

Brazil

  • Test interface in the native language.
  • Expect some participants to arrive late (hence work out a 15-min delay) into your scheduling of participants.
  • Expect participants to be very talkative.
  • Have a duplicity system for video and audio recordings.
  • Don’t use a prototype with content in more than one language.
  • Don’t think that Brazilian and European dialects of Portuguese are interchangeable.
  • Don’t think that because you understand Spanish that you will understand Portuguese (when observing).
  • Remember that in the southern hemisphere Christmas is the beginning of summer vacations.
  • February/March – Carnival holiday.
  • Generally avoid holidays at Tuesdays and Thursdays because people will take off Monday or Friday, too.
  • Avoid to schedule research with children and parents during January, July and December because of vacation periods at school.
  • Many people work late so plan on having sessions as late as 8 or 9pm.

Member:

Colombia

The Cocktail Analysis

Colombia

  • If need to test something on a smartphone is better to specify on the screener what type of user the participant must be, since the penetration of both Android and Apple are pretty high.
  • We usually conduct fieldwork in Bogota but for a major representation among the country, it is recommended to do it also at least in 2-3 cities according to the objectives of the projects (eg. Bogota and Medellin).
  • Set up the interviews with 60 min between them. Colombian consumers not always arrive on time and that gap of time help to complete the day calendar in a better way.

Member:

Estonia

and Baltics

Trinidad Wiseman

Estonia

  • Estonians can be difficult to approach.
  • Facebook is a great way of finding test subjects, but nobody uses Twitter.
  • Gift cards and chocolates are valid incentives (their value ranges between 2-100 euros depending on what you are testing).
  • Generally it is not a good idea to call a potential recruit after 6pm.
  • Don’t schedule sessions too close together, as it is very possible people will be running late and that will affect the time the session starts.
  • January 1 New Year’s Day
  • February 24 Independence Day
  • April 18 Good Friday
  • April 20 Easter
  • May 1 Spring Day
  • June 8 Pentecost
  • June 23 Victory Day
  • June 24 St. John’s Day
  • August 20 Day of Restoration of Independence
  • December 25 Christmas
  • Try to avoid testing on weekends and specific holidays. During the summer people will move to the countryside and are generally harder to reach.

Member:

Finland

and Scandinavia

Digitalist

Finland

  • January 1 New Year's Day
  • January 6 Epiphany
  • April 10 Good Friday
  • April 12 Easter
  • April 13 Easter Monday
  • May 1 Vappu
  • May 21 Ascension Day
  • May 31 White Sunday
  • June 19 Midsummer Eve
  • June 20 Midsummer
  • November 2 All Saints’ Day
  • December 6 Independence Day
  • December 24 Christmas Eve
  • December 25 Christmas Day
  • December 26 Boxing Day
  • July is the most popular holiday month.
  • Prefer weekdays.
  • Evenings are ok.

Member:

France

Usabilis

France

  • Conduct interviews and tests in French.
  • Provide fake testing data, if there is a need to fill a form.
  • Don't ask for any personal data (names, address, email, etc.) during the interview if you keep a recording. French law can be quite challenging on this matter.
  • Don't plan any session during the weekend, bank holidays or peak holiday season (May, July/August, December).
  • Testing time can depend on the target (student vs professional), but usually it's best to keep it during office hours (8am to 8pm).

Member:

Germany

Austria and Switzerland

Facit Digital

Germany

  • Providing fake test data is advisable. If individual data is required, test people should be asked beforehand.
  • Inform subjects beforehand about filming, sound recording and eye tracking. Ideally, let them additionally agree in writing before test.
  • Remember that Germans tend to describe their feedback in more utilitarian terms rather than being descriptive regarding visual elements.
  • Don't use scaled with opposite logic.
  • Don't forget to always follow-up. Provide confirmation emails with directions, call them one day before testing and ask them to be there a few minutes earlier.
  • Unlike in other countries, during school holidays recruitment doesn't get more difficult, some people have even better availability.
  • Recruit can become more difficult when important events are taking place or the weather is nice outside.
  • Most evenings (from 5pm to 10pm) because of working hours.
  • Plan enough evening appointments.

Member:

India

UX Labs Indigo

India

  • If testing more technically savvy users or educated users, you may run sessions in English however consider a “repeater” to help with the heavy accents and to explain local nuisances.
  • Consider the caste system and gender differences in combination with moderator and participant.
  • De-brief the participants orally as well, don’t just rely on the document.
  • Overbook participants, chances are a few might not turn up.
  • Don’t assume the participant is aware if you are video recording, ask permission.
  • Don’t assume that a participant won’t be late, give substantial time intervals between 2 participants during testing.
  • January 26 Republic Day
  • August 15 Independence Day
  • October 2 Mahatma Gandhi Day
  • Regional/Local holidays also to be kept in mind if the study is conducted in a specific state during any festival.
  • Working professionals – evenings or weekends.
  • Students – afternoon.
  • Housewife – mornings/afternoon.
  • Entrepreneurs – anytime during the day or weekends.

Member:

Italy

UserTest/Lab

Italy

  • Conduct interviews in local language.
  • No-show rate is possible, plan spare participants.
  • Schedule the research in advance, if possible.
  • Expect differences in computer literacy based on socio-demographic variables.
  • Having a good sense of Italian socio-demographic factors will help increase the amount of suitable participants gained.
  • Providing fake test data is advisable. If individual data is required, this should be asked during recruiting.
  • Do not schedule testing just before local bank holidays and on August.
  • Do not include small cities in the sample, favor principal cities such as Milan, Rome and Naples.
  • Not possible to give cash incentives, provide coupons (petrol, Amazon).
  • Don’t do testing during peek holidays, including Christmas and Easter.
  • No testing during August, all facilities are closed.
  • Testing time depends on the target (pm for working people and students, am for retired people and housewives).

Member:

Japan

GPScale

Japan

  • Be precise and aware of the questions you are giving to the audience.
  • Make sure you are focusing on your target and their attributes.
  • Participants are known to be timely and rarely appear as a “no show”.
  • Schedule translators far in advance, the good ones are usually quite busy.
  • Make the audience feel comfortable and invited, don’t overbear with irrelevant content or dismiss their answers.
  • Targeting specific groups can be costly, in comparison to US and Europe.
  • Don’t assume - always have content translated in Japanese, although most citizens learn English at a young age.
  • Avoid the last week of December and the first week of January.
  • Golden week – This falls at the end of April/first week of May.
  • Obon Summer Holiday period – The second week of August through the middle of the third week of August.
  • Housewives – weekday mornings and afternoons.
  • University students – weekday and weekend afternoons.
  • Full time workers – weekday evenings (after 7pm) or weekends.

Member:

Mexico

The Cocktail Analysis

Mexico

  • Mexico is a pluricultural country with substancial behavorial differences, due to the large size of the country, that's why is recommended to replicate the project in different cities, being Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara the most common ones.
  • Most people use an Android operating system as a smartphone, so it is important to have devices that record or allow browsing-in, different versions to avoid losing details.
  • It is advisable not to make groups whose participants belong to very different socio-economic segments, since those with the highest purchasing power can speak from a particular context and consequently, inhibit or introvert those who have less access.
  • Ask participants to arrive one hour before starting, is recommended as the city and distances make it impossible for people to arrive on time.

Member:

Netherlands

Happy Labs

Netherlands

  • For more information, visit the member's website.

Member:

Poland

Extra Hut

Poland

  • Use as many channels as you can to recruit users for research and describe very precisely research assumptions in the public offer (info about salary is highly expected).
  • Verify users' details in recruitment process to identify and reject experienced UX research participants, which you can easily find in the market.
  • Always prepare a reserve list of users for research (about 30-40% more) in case of sudden absences.
  • Always inform users about any recording or filming before the research, ask for formal permission.
  • When it comes to individual interviews, better talk in Polish. Not many people speak English on a level which gives them possibility to express themselves freely.
  • You cannot pay participants (with money) without any formal contracts (financial law issues).
  • Do not ask users for the use of their personal information, always prepare a scenario based on some fake information.
  • Do not pay users in advance, always after finishing all tests and interviews.

Member:

Portugal

Xperienz

Portugal

  • Warn participants beforehand to make sure they keep their appointment.
  • Participants expect to receive an incentive. The easiest way is to give them a gift card that can be used in several stores.
  • Deliver the incentive right after they sign the consent form.
  • The interface should be in the native language, even though English is also suitable.
  • Avoid scheduling sessions on Mondays and Fridays, as it will be harder to recruit participants for those days.
  • Don’t schedule interviews too close together (allow at least a 30 minute gap between sessions). This will accommodate both tardy participants as well as ones with longer sessions.
  • Don’t plan more than 5 or 6 test sessions a day.
  • Avoid doing testing during peek holidays, like the Christmas Holidays and Easter. Peak Summertime (July and August) should also be avoided.
  • Avoid testing just before or after public Holidays as most people will take extended weekends on those dates.
  • Carnival is an unofficial Holiday, but still observed by government and private workers.
  • Unlike some other countries, most Holidays in Portugal are observed on the day on which they fall.
  • Januray 1 New Year's Day
  • Good Friday
  • April 25 Freedom Day
  • May 1 Labour Day
  • June 10 Portugal Day
  • August 15 Feast of Assumption
  • October 5 Republic Day
  • November 1 All Saints Day
  • December 1 Restoration of Independence Day
  • December 8 Immaculate Conception
  • December 25 Christmas Day
  • Usually it’s easier to recruit for late afternoon (after work), after 6pm.
  • Testing can start as early as 9AM.
  • Testing time depends on the target, but allow for at least an hour.

Member:

Russia

Usethics

Russia

  • The recruiting screener should be precise. It should include questions/ answers to which only the target audience knows.
  • Note that the audience in Moscow is different from the audience in other Russian cities. This applies both to requirements, formalities and the generalisation of the results.
  • Make the consent form short and avoid cumbersome language.
  • Don’t make the schedule of the sessions too tight. The Moscow traffic is very heavy, so participants are often late.
  • Don’t plan too many home visits per day. Participants’ homes can be very far from each other and it usually takes more time than you planned. Moscow traffic can be very exhausting for the team (both-public transport and taxi).
  • It is not recommended to schedule testing sessions the day or two before holidays.
  • December and January is the worst time for planning a project. Avoid the following dates:
  • January 1-8 New Year Holidays, Christmas Day
  • February 23-24 Protector of the Motherland Day
  • March 7-10 International Women’s Day
  • May 1-9 Spring and Labor Day, Victory Day
  • June 12-13 Russia Day
  • November 3-4 Day of National Unity
  • December 31 New Year (short working day)
  • It is preferred not to schedule the sessions earlier than 11am due to traffic problems.
  • It is easier to recruit participants for 5-6pm sessions.

Member:

Singapore

UX Consulting

Singapore

  • Do basic conversation screening of participants through phone calls.
  • Official form to ask participants’ permission for video recording for any form of research interviews.
  • Plan for minimum 30 minutes buffer in between interview sessions.
  • Send gentle reminders (sms or email) to participants on the scheduled session one day before and one hour before.
  • Not allowed to collect full identification number from participants for incentives collection.
  • Do not schedule any interview research sessions not within central business district area.
  • Interviewers do not need to dress formally when conducting research interview sessions.
  • 2019:
  • June 5 Hari Raya Puasa
  • August 9 National Day
  • August 11-12 Hari Raya Haji
  • October 27-28 Deepavali
  • December 25 Christmas Day
  • 2020:
  • January 1 New Year's Day
  • January 24-28 Chinese New Year
  • April 10 Good Friday
  • May 1 Labour Day
  • May 7 Vesak Day
  • May 24-25 Hari Raya Puasay
  • July 31 Hari Raya Haji
  • August 9-10 National Day
  • November 13-14 Deepavali
  • December 25 Christmas Day
  • Weekdays starts from 10am - 6pm (Company's policy for not asking team members to do research in evenings or weekends).

Member:

South Korea

U2 System

South Korea

  • Most of age groups have a high level of understanding of mobile usage.
  • Session with mixed age groups is not recommended for FGD.
  • Tend to have preconceptions for certain countries and products.

Member:

Spain

The Cocktail Analysis

Spain

  • Set up the interviews with 30 min between them. Spanish participants use to arrive just on time, but sometimes due to the displacement and distance show up a bit later.
  • Flexibility and openness with the recruitment agency: it is convenient to make it part of the team. In this way, if complications arise (eg. it is difficult to find a profile or a participant has just canceled) the agency will have the confidence to tell you and offer you viable solutions or find them together.
  • Do not set a fieldwork without checking bank holidays: Spain still has a strong cultural and folk tradition that affects work calendar. Depending on the city and the dates, the recruiting might be difficult and this needs to be considered in advance.
  • If recruiting people from a database, make sure there are extra participants; it is frequent to face dropping outs.
  • January 1 New Year’s Day
  • January 6 Epiphany
  • Easter Maundy Thursday and Good Friday
  • May 1 Labour Day
  • August 15 Assumption of Mary
  • October 12 Spain’s National Day
  • November 1 All Saints’ Day
  • December 6 Spanish Constitution Day
  • December 8 Immaculate Conception
  • December 25 Christmas
  • Do not conduct fieldwork on Friday or the day before bank holidays if possible.
  • In August, most people are on holidays and making the fieldwork harder in terms of recruitment.

Member:

Turkey

Userspots

Turkey

  • The people of Istanbul are well-known for their hospitality. They love to meet new people and never hesitate to talk to tourists.
  • Do visit local and historical bazaars.
  • Do drink tea and coffee
  • Do visit a hammam, a Turkish bath.
  • Do up travel on the ancient and modern history of Turkey.
  • Do not criticise the Turkish nation, culture or flag.
  • June 03-06 National Holiday
  • June 07 Government Holiday
  • July 15 National Holiday
  • August 12-15 National Holiday
  • August 30 National Holiday
  • October 29 Republic Day
  • Housewives – weekday mornings and afternoons.
  • University students – weekday mornings and afternoons.
  • Full time workers – weekday mornings and afternoons.

Member:

United Kingdom

RedEye Optimisation

United Kingdom

  • For more information, visit the member's website.

Member:

USA East

Key Lime Interactive

USA East

  • For more information, visit the member's website.

Member:

USA West

Gotoresearch

USA West

  • When planning to record qualitative research gain permission from respondents upfront if recording their audio, video, or screen. If it is a remote study be sure to get an authorization signed before the study.
  • Be sure to prepare a good screener that asks open-ended questions to weed out respondents that might not be forthcoming with their responses.
  • Ensure any artifacts that are used for research and shown to the participants are in English.
  • Provide an incentive that shows that you value the participants time - allocate an amount based on their profession.
  • Do not ask leading or closed-ended questions aim to ask open-ended questions.
  • Try not to ask questions about what users will do in the future.
  • Don't schedule interviews during Holidays as that will increase your chances of having no-shows.
  • Don't schedule interviews too close together; you may have participants that show up late or have technical issues.
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Testing time depends on the target.

Member:

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