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Cultural bias in design(ers) : Can being African make you bad at design?

20731b847c4de81c1e601e563fa67b6b?s=47 farai
February 08, 2018

Cultural bias in design(ers) : Can being African make you bad at design?

Presented at IXDA Interactions 18 in Lyon France
8 February, 2018

I got fired from a job because my African culture made me suck at my job. Seriously.

In Zimbabwean Shona culture, we expect and live with unequal distribution of power in society. Less powerful members of social groups expect to not have a voice or option in many situations.

I had no idea that this was a thing, or that it would matter in my work. Until my first design job at an agency in London. I failed to collaborate and co-design with team members who I thought of as senior. I even found myself unable to conduct user interviews with people I thought of as senior. These failures messed up the project and in the end, I got fired.

This talk is for designers from non-western cultures and the teams who work with them. People from different cultures can bring viewpoints that make our product more inclusive. But, they may also bring cultural biases that impact the way we work together on the said product.

The talk has 2 main focus areas:
* What is cultural bias is and why are people from certain parts of the world more likely to have certain biases. I’ll share stories of real teams and individuals affected by cultural bias.
* Practical tips for anticipating, identifying and adapting to cultural bias in the way we work. From hiring to induction, critique, research, presentation and more. I’ll look at ways to work better with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. This, so that they can be their best selves and help us make inclusive product experiences.

20731b847c4de81c1e601e563fa67b6b?s=128

farai

February 08, 2018
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Transcript

  1. Cultural bias in designers Interactions 18 8 February, 2018 faraimadzima.com

    Farai Madzima @farai_uxguy
  2. Peace! I’m Farai Madzima UX Lead at Shopify in Ottawa

    @farai_uxguy
  3. Hugh

  4. None
  5. School Band

  6. None
  7. Dizzy Gillespie

  8. Louis Armstong

  9. Louis armstrong

  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb2w2m1JmCY

  11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXSjJBKPyFg

  12. Miles Davis

  13. Take your sh*t from home Put that with the sh*t

    you’ve learned here That’s gonna be a muthaf*cka
  14. Inclusivity

  15. Diversity of thought

  16. Take your sh*t from home Put that with the sh*t

    you’ve learned here That’s gonna be a muthaf*cka
  17. I needed to know my sh*t

  18. Geerte Hofstede

  19. Power distance Embraces hierarchy More egalitarian Individualism Individualist Collectivist Feminine

    / Masculine Power more important Nurture more important Uncertainty avoidance Ambiguity creates anxiety Comfortable with ambiguity Long-term orientation Long term first Short term first Restraint / Indulgence Happiness always good Happiness can be bad https://www.hofstede-insights.com/models/national-culture/
  20. Erin Meyer

  21. None
  22. Persuading Applications first Principles first Deciding Consensual Top-down Disagreeing Avoids

    confrontation Confrontational Evaluating Indirect negative feedback Direct negative feedback Trusting Activity-based Relationship-based Scheduling Flexible -time Linear time Communicating High context Low context Leading Hierachical Egalitarian
  23. Principles-first Application-first Principles first Start with the theory or concept.

    Then present the facts to back it up. Application first Start with the facts. Then share the theory that leads to the facts. Persuading Sweden US UK France Nigeria Kenya Zimbabwe Saudi Arabia Canada India From The culture map by Erin Meyer
  24. From The culture map by Erin Meyer

  25. Low context High context Low context Good communication is precise,

    simple and clear. Repetition is used to clarify. High context Good communication is nuanced and layered. Speak and read between the lines. Communicating Sweden US UK France Nigeria Kenya Zimbabwe Saudi Arabia Canada India Japan Brazil From The culture map by Erin Meyer
  26. Direct negative feedback Indirect negative feedback Direct negative feedback Feedback

    is frank, blunt, and honest at all times, even in front of the team. Indirect negative feedback Feedback is soft, subtle, and diplomatic and only given private. Evaluating Sweden US UK France Nigeria Kenya Zimbabwe Saudi Arabia Canada India Japan Brazil From The culture map by Erin Meyer
  27. Skill up your team on the method you want to

    use for critique
  28. None
  29. Confrontational Avoids confrontation Confrontational Disagreement and debates are positive for

    the team. Open confrontation is appropriate and will not negatively affect relationships. Avoids confrontation Disagreement and debates are negative for the team. Open confrontation will break group harmony and negatively affect the relationship. Disagreeing US UK France Nigeria Kenya Zimbabwe Saudi Arabia Canada India Japan Brazil From The culture map by Erin Meyer
  30. Roleplay difficult conversations

  31. Sachlichkeit

  32. None
  33. Consensual Top-down Consensual Decisions are made in groups through unanimous

    agreement. Top-down Decisions are made by individuals, (usually the boss or hippo). Deciding Sweden US UK France Nigeria Kenya Zimbabwe Canada India Japan Brazil From The culture map by Erin Meyer
  34. Agree on how you want to decide

  35. Linear-time Flexible-time Linear-time Plans are approached in a sequentially. One

    thing at a time. On time. Flexible-time Plans are approached in a fluid manner. Value is placed on adaptability and flexibility vs. organization. Scheduling Sweden US UK France Nigeria Kenya Zimbabwe Saudi Arabia Canada India Japan From The culture map by Erin Meyer
  36. Egalitarian Hierarchical Egalitarian Low distance between boss and subordinates. Flat

    organisational structures. Hierarchical High distance between boss and subordinates. Layered and rigid organisational structures. Leading Sweden US UK France Nigeria Kenya Zimbabwe Saudi Arabia Canada India Japan Brazil From The culture map by Erin Meyer
  37. Persuading Applications first Principles first Deciding Consensual Top-down Disagreeing Avoids

    confrontation Confrontational Evaluating Indirect negative feedback Direct negative feedback Trusting Activity-based Relationship-based Scheduling Flexible -time Linear time Communicating High context Low context Leading Hierachical Egalitarian From The culture map by Erin Meyer
  38. Hugh

  39. Know your communicating sh*t Know your deciding sh*t Know your

    disagreeing sh*t Know your evaluating sh*t Know your leading sh*t Know your persuading sh*t Know your scheduling sh*t Know your trust sh*t Put that with the sh*t you learn wherever you go And that’s gonna be a muthaf*cka
  40. Peace! I’m Farai Madzima UX Lead at Shopify in Ottawa

    @farai_uxguy