Design Culture Variations Country by Country
In this article, Mason Adair takes a look at how design culture differs in countries across the globe and shares a link to the raw data supporting his article.
Since culture is people, you can arguably draw conclusions about global differences in design culture by looking at the individuals working in design roles around the world.
That’s what I did a few months ago while conducting research for this article on service design.
The underlying data set, derived from a scan of LinkedIn profiles, tells an interesting story about the types of design work and overriding philosophies by country. Looking at this chart, a couple things stand out.
First of all, Finland is by far the global leader in service design talent. This seems largely a function of their unique social ethos, a topic I explore that in depth in this article.
It’s also intuitive to see Italy’s unique emphasis on product design. Their spike in industrial product design aligns well with the exotic cars, distinct home furnishing and appliance Italy is famous for.
While every geography I looked at had large proportions of UX designers, you can see a split between countries when you look at service versus product design that seems to belie the make-up of each country’s GDP.
Countries like China and Italy (and to an extent, the UK due to global vehicle brands like Jaguar Land Rover) where finished consumer goods contribute significantly to their economies, tend to show a larger representation of product designers (that’s not to say that product designers only work on finished consumer goods, just that they’re just more prevalent than other design roles in manufactured product contexts).
South East Asian countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore as well as Israel and Argentina seem to lean relatively more towards software and digital offerings, perhaps explaining their larger proportions of UX designers.
Interestingly, Service Design seems to mostly be a ‘European thing’, with particular representation in all the Scandinavian countries.
For a deeper look at all 30 geographies in the data set, including market-specific drill downs on Silicon Valley, Berlin and London, I’ve put the raw data as well as my write up here: digitalproductpeople.com.
Read the full post, Design culture varies by country, basically just like you’d expect it to, on Linkedin.