Brazil is the largest country in Latin America. It has both Latin America’s largest economy and population, which is at more than 190 million inhabitants.
Availability and location
São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, has well-equipped and modern testing facilities as well as professionals with experience in planning, preparing, recruiting, and reporting for user research studies. Testing in other Brazilian state capitals can be risky because of the added difficulties of finding adequate facilities and recruiting more specific profiles, or due to security concerns.
Perhaps the most important logistical concern involves the daily routine in São Paulo and its effect on the punctuality of participants. Many people work late into the evening, so scheduling can be difficult during the day. It is likely to schedule participants at 8 or 9 P.M., therefore testing sessions can end late into the evening. A fifteen minute delay in arrival is considered normal, so scheduling participants thirty minutes before the real time of testing is a prudent approach.
Language and translation considerations
Portuguese is the principal language, with European and Brazilian dialects.
It is important that interfaces tested in Brazil are presented in the native language. When preparing a standard usability study in, keep in mind that a phrase written in Portuguese takes up more space than it does in English, and that Brazilian and European dialects of Portuguese are not interchangeable, so interfaces must be in the Brazilian dialect. Although it is possible to find participants who are able to read and understand English, Brazilians are not generally used to speaking English. It may be possible to evaluate an interface in English, however the discussions must take place in Brazilian Portuguese.
Travel and transportation
Travel within this country
In São Paulo, booking a hotel near the testing site is advised because traffic can often be problematic. As with any other big city in the world, first time visitors must be aware of their belongings and avoid places where they have no reference points. During summer time (i.e., December, January and February) heavy rain is common, so using facilities near subway stations can minimize transportation problems for participants.
Foreigners should be culturally aware that kisses and hugs are spontaneous and frequent, even between people who are meeting for the first time. Greeting a moderator with a kiss or hug is considered normal behavior. The biggest surprise may be how talkative the people are. This can be both good and bad in that participants are forthcoming and honest in their opinions, but moderators must work to ensure that participants stay focused on the task at all times.
Comfort using technology
Brazilians love the Internet and currently spend an average of 23 hours online per month, which is on par with or exceeds that of the average French, American, Australian, or Japanese resident.
Holiday, seasonality, and timing considerations
The holidays in Brazil, where Christmas is the beginning of summer vacations, are different from those of the northern hemisphere. In January, many people get away from the big cities making recruitment challenging during this month. During Carnival (usually in February, but it can sometimes be in March), local businesses are closed. It is the most popular celebration in Brazil and there is almost no chance of scheduling any study during this period.