T24: Automotive UX Design Based on Intercultural Research

Friday, 1 July 2022, 12:00 – 16:00 CEST (Central European Summer Time - Gothenburg, Sweden)
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Dr. GONG Zaiyan (short bio)

Director of HVR Lab, Tongji University, P.R. China
Associate Partner of Hofstede Insights



  • To introduce complexity and challenges of automotive UX design, including central information display, instrument cluster, head-up display, voice control, etc.
  • To introduce the importance of intercultural research for diverse UX demands and Hofstede 6-D culture model.
  • To analyze the users’ value derived by culture factors and potential application to automotive UX design.
  • To introduce a new automotive product definition process, starting from culture and value research.



In-vehicle user experience is a booming topic in automotive research and development. The performance of HMI became one of the most important factors when customers select cars. Automotive UX is very complex, because most functions are secondary tasks while driving, and the interaction modalities is developing rapidly. Moreover, the user demand of HMI varies across countries. One successful HMI system in German market could be unpopular in China. This is distinct from other conventional evaluation standards for cars, like acceleration, handling, safety, etc., whose demands are always similar around the world.

Culture is the collective programming of the mind with which one group distinguishes itself from another. To interpret users’ diverse demands for HMI system, culture is a reasonable basic impetus. The 6 Dimension Culture Model from Geert Hofstede is a strong tool. This method divided the culture of countries into 6 quantitative dimensions: power distance index (PDI), individualism versus collectivism (IDV), masculinity versus femininity (MAS), uncertainty avoidance index (UAI), long term orientation versus short term orientation (LTO), and indulgence versus restraint (IVR). Various scores result in different mind and behavior in management, consumption and daily life.

Derived by culture, users’ value can be analyzed in a well-organized structure. For example, companionship is one value of collectivism culture, while showing off rank and scores is one value of masculinity culture. Based on the value analysis, potential HMI design solutions can be suggested to a target group with a specific culture, e.g. a human-like AI avatar for collectivism culture. German and Chinese cultures and UX requirement are deeply analyzed and compared as cases. This method supported several German and Japanese automotive manufacturers to understand Chinese users’ UX requirement in the past 4 years.

When we understand culture and UX orientation, how to build an automotive intelligent cockpit? Here is a new automotive product definition process. It includes culture research, context library discovery, concept design and validation. Thereinto, the core of validation is the Human-Vehicle Relationship Evaluation System, which has been applied by more than 10 automotive companies.



Participants will gain understanding, knowledge and skills for culture analysis and automotive UX design. Participants will find ways to do UX design (automotive and other industries) for an unfamiliar market with specific culture.


Target Audience:

Innovation managers, designers, product managers of automotive companies and suppliers, consumer electronic companies; students of UX design, sociology, automotive engineering, etc.


List of materials or devices required by the participants:

Book: Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, Third Edition, by Geert Hofstede, Gert Jan Hofstede

Bio Sketch of Presenter:

Dr. Zaiyan GONG is the Director of HVR Lab (Human-Vehicle Relationship), Tongji University, P.R.China, and an Associate Partner of Hofstede Insights. He holds a PhD of Automotive Engineering from Tongji University.

His current research activities focus on automotive intelligent cockpit research, design and evaluation. The research covers both rational and emotional fields. For the rational part, he originally created the real-car driving simulation platform, which can do the usability test with objective quantitative data for any mass-produced cars in a virtual driving scenario. For the emotional part, he introduced the Hofstede 6-D culture model into automotive UX definition, to show the distinctive user requirement among various target groups.

He has rich experience in automotive industry. He worked in Porsche China and led more than 60 cooperation projects with automotive companies in Tongji University.