We’ll go to just about any length to improve a user experience, but Dubai in the heat of summer? That’s crazy!
Working with a client to launch a new business in the Middle East was a great opportunity to explore cross cultural design and rapid prototype testing in a completely different cultural climate.
Dubai is a terrific launching point for cross-cultural design efforts in the Middle East / North Africa region. In one sense it is not so different from Toronto’s multicultural climate and predominance of English as the language of commerce. At the same time, it is very attuned to the individual cultures of its neighbouring countries. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey et al. are entirely unique but all have a strong presence in Dubai. As a global commerce hub, conducting business with its neighbours is Dubai’s reason for being and finding expatriates from all of its neighbours to ensure a broad cultural perspective is easily accomplished.
It was actually the meteorological climate, not the cultural climate, that was the real challenge: at night it would cool down to 36° or 38° and during the day it would reach the upper 40s with very high humidity. To my astonishment, my glasses would fog up when I stepped outside and ditto for my camera lens.
Editor’s note: What a fantastic trip Steven!