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Conducting user research in South Korea?

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

Here are some factors to consider:


User research is a critical aspect of product or service development, no matter the location, and South Korea is no exception. The country boasts a robust and technologically advanced consumer base, making it a significant market for various industries. If you're conducting user research in South Korea, consider the following three factors:

source: SKT youtube
source: Galaxy youtube








1. **Language and Cultural Context:** Understanding the local language (Korean) is vital, as is appreciating the country's unique culture and societal norms. If you're not fluent in Korean, consider partnering with a local research agency or hiring a qualified translator. Note: If foreign researcher wants fluent English speaking participants for qualitative interviews, then we recommend some portions of the interviews.


Culturally, South Koreans value respect and harmony, which could significantly influence their responses and engagement.


2. **Legal and Ethical Considerations:** South Korea has strict laws concerning data privacy and protection, especially with the Personal Information Protection Act. Note: consumer understanding of data privacy beomes more important. So, there is a behavior participant overwatching the agency's data collection process.


Ensure you understand these regulations and follow them strictly during your research.


3. **Demographics:** South Korea's demographic profile is diverse, with a mix of young, middle-aged, and older users, each with their preferences and consumption habits. For example, younger demographics are of couse more likely to be digitally savvy, and older users are more acceptable to the new technology compared to other countries. Note: However, in the smartphone industry, there is a big trend change Apple's market share is increasing among 10s to 30s, taking around 40% of the total.


Apple's market share is increasing among 10s to 30s, taking around 40% of the total.


Lastly, the user research should follow the standard process: identifying objectives, selecting the right methodology, recruiting participants, collecting and analyzing data, and reporting results. Again, it's also important to iterate on this process with your local partner understaing the local context.


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