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Increasingly, UX designers are being asked to extend their skill set beyond information architecture, interaction design, and graphic design to cultural analysis, applying to design problems techniques like ethnography and field research that are borrowed from anthropology and evolutionary psychology.
Point taken. Understanding the culture of your targeted user does result in better, more innovative design. Culture-focused methodologies—like Design Thinking—have enormous appeal.
Be warned, however. Culture-informed design involves risk taking, uncertainty, trial and error, model building, iteration and feedback. Your success as a designer depends as much on the culture of the corporation sponsoring your project as it does on the methodology the corporation is asking you to use.
Ignore corporate culture at your own risk.