T06: Automotive UX Design and Evaluation Based on Intercultural Research

Sunday, 23 July 2023, 13:30 - 17:30 CEST (Copenhagen)
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Dr. Zaiyan GONG (short bio)

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



  • To introduce complexity and challenges of automotive UX design and evaluation, 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 comprehensive automotive HMI evaluation system, including the culture and value index.
  • To explore case studies and practice how to use the automotive HMI evaluation system, including the culture and value index.



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 (IDV), masculinity (MAS), uncertainty avoidance index (UAI), long term orientation (LTO), and indulgence versus restraint (IVR). Various scores result in different mind and behavior in management, consumption and daily life. The tutorial takes a deep dive into the culture dimensions, including definitions, discrimination and typical phenomenon.

The tutorial also shows a well-organized structure of users’ value which is derived by culture. 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 5 years.

Culture and value are one of the important indexes to evaluate a whole automotive HMI system. The tutorial will introduce a comprehensive 3-D evaluation method, including evaluation indexes, interaction modality and interaction tasks. Besides value, the evaluation indexes also cover utility, safety, efficiency, cognition, intelligence, and aesthetics. This HMI evaluation method has become a group standard of China Association of Automotive Manufacturers.

During a hands-on part, typical different automotive UX designs among German, Japanese and Chinese brands are shown. The audiences can practice the HMI evaluation system, as well as the match for culture dimensions.



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. Participants will understand a comprehensive method to evaluate the whole HMI system in vehicle.


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 Sketches 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 (https://www.hofstede-insights.com/network/zaiyan-gong/). He holds a PhD of Automotive Engineering from Tongji University.

His current research activities focus on automotive intelligent cockpit analysis, 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 wrote a book Automotive HMI Evaluation Method (in Chinese language), and the English version will by published by Springer in 2023.

He has rich experience in automotive industry. He worked in Porsche China and led more than 90 cooperation projects with automotive companies in Tongji University.