3 Ways Culture Affects User Acceptance

3 Ways Culture Affects User Acceptance

When launching a mobile app in multiple different countries and languages, user acceptance testing (UAT) is essential. UAT is self-explanatory. It tests whether users enjoy their journey on your app. Shockingly, culture has a big effect on whether an app is accepted by its users or not. That is why it is essential to have your international app tested by real, locals of the country you are launching in. Culture affects user acceptance in three main categories: language, design, and navigation.


Perfect language is essential for users to be able to accept your app. It is human nature that people are somewhat scared of what is not familiar to them. If translation is slightly off, users sense an aspect of foreignness and can experience inconfort. Minimizing user suspicion or doubt is your main goal as a mobile app publisher.

Perfect language can only be achieved by real native speakers. Non-mother-tongue speakers cannot pick up on the minor subtleties of the language, that would make users feel the foreignness of your app. For example:

  • Certain cultures prefer the active tone of voice, others the passive.
  • Certain cultures prefer many details in writing, others less.
  • Different cultures use different word selection according to the situation.
  • Different languages have varying grammar rules, such as spacing between characters and capitalisation rules.

The list goes on and on, and all of these aspects add up to the overall acceptance of your app.


Surprisingly, design preferences also vary vastly according to culture. Different cultures also have different preferences for fonts, graphic styles, and colors. For example, certain cultures have biases against certain colors because they represent different things. In India, the color red symbolises fire and power, yet at the same time seduction and love. In China, red represents good luck, and in South Africa it is associated with death and mourning.

As an app publisher, you want to use the fonts, graphics, and colors that send the best message to the users. Native testers can pick up on these aspects from the underlying feelings they have while using your app, and can give you the best advice to improve the user experience for their country.


Users in different cultures are used to different interfaces. Some tend to put the menu on the top, others the side. Others use different symbols or structures for menus. Using the navigation that local users expect will result in easier navigation and a better user experience. Again, this can be found through testing with local testers.


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