If you adjust the UI of software to different cultures, user's experience can improve. I am referring to Reinecke & Berstein (2013): "Knowing what a user likes: A design science approach to interfaces that automatically adapt to culture". They tailored a to-do list to different cultures. The results suggested that users were 22% faster using culturally adapted UIs. The interfaces are impressive, but due to copyright I can't post them here.

Anyways, this is not just academic stuff. McDonalds is known for tailoring its websites to different cultures: gemrany and china(1)

While the Big Mac on the German website is the vanishing point for everything, the Chinese UI appears chaotic and just cluttered to the Western eye.

Asians can perceive more information simultaneously; the culture is build more on harmony than on focus and exploration of one isolated object. Also, kids from these cultures learn verbs before the learn nouns. Japanese mothers stress context saying things like, "I push the truck to you and you push it to me. When you throw it at the wall, the wall says ouch'." (NewScientist:Westerners and Easterners see the world differently).

Contrary, the West is build on archiving goals and people are often able to focus easier. Western children learn nouns before they learn verbs. An American mother will say: Look Billy, a truck. It's shiny and has wheels.'.

How UX can be influenced by culture was discussed already quite a bit on UX stackexchange (Does culture affect UX best practises?). I want to extend the discussions to mobile platforms. Microsoft's XAML has culture specific binding. Android and iOS surely have something similar.

Are there any apps that take cultural differences as serious as McDonalds does?

  • This is going to be almost entirely opinion-based. Mar 12 '14 at 10:00
  • The Windows Mobile platform allows for a declarative xml based UI (XAML) and culture specific binding. Their text rendering is also top-notch and will easily respond to culture changes. Mar 12 '14 at 10:42
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    @DeerHunter: How? I think that this could very well be supported by facts about the development environments available for the various platforms. But then it is no longer a question about UX, but about IDE's and doesn't belong here either. :) Mar 12 '14 at 10:49
  • I'm afraid your edit still doesn't bring the question on-topic for the site. You're requesting a list of examples of apps that do something. There's no correct answer to that qusetion and should it be re-opened would likely be closed as being 'Too Broad'. We need specific, answerable questions here about a single issue that you need solving, and we can help provide that solution. Instead of asking for examples of something, explain the problem you currently have, what you've tried to do to solve it and why your solution hasn't worked, and we'll suggest an alternative.
    – JonW
    Mar 17 '14 at 15:22