A few years back companies could design a site for local audiences and ignore the user base which was beyond their expected demographic of users. However with companies expanding beyond their local demographic and moving their base of operations into multiple regions, there is an increasing demand to ensure that the site design can cater to the requirements of those regions. Designing for multiple regions with different cultural connotation and website design best practice can be a daunting experience as some best practices in a particular country might be a very offensive practice in another country. For example:
A golf ball manufacturing company packaged golf balls in packs of four for convenient purchase in Japan. Unfortunately, the number 4 is equivalent to the number 13 due it sounding like the word “death”
When the US firm Gerber started selling baby food in Africa they used the same packaging as in the US, i.e. with a picture of a baby on the label. Sales flopped and they soon realized that in Africa companies typically place pictures of contents on their labels.
EuroDisney made a major mistake when it created a multimillion dollar advertising campaign with tons of purple. For the Catholics of Western Europe, purple signifies the crucifixion, and it’s a color of mourning rather than a happy place as Disney sites are known to be. The end result was that EuroDisney flopped.