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Title: A new model for cross-cultural web design
Authors: Hsieh, Hsiu Ching
Advisors: Holland, R
Young, M
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Brunel University School of Engineering and Design PhD Theses
Abstract: People from different cultures use web interface in different ways, expect different visual representation, navigation, interaction, mental model, and layouts etc., and have different communication patterns and expectation. In the context of globalisation, web localisation becomes a powerful strategy to acquire an audience in a global market. Therefore, web developers and designers have to make adaptations to fit the needs of people from different cultures, and the way cultural factors are integrated into web interface design needs to be improved. Most previous research lacks an appropriate way to apply cultural factors into web development. No empirical study of the web interface has been carried out to support the cross-cultural web design model. It is noted that no single model can support all cross-cultural web communication but a new model is needed to bridge the gap and improve the limitations. Thus the research aim was to build a new model of cross-cultural web design to contribute to effective communication. Following an extensive literature review, a local web audit was conducted, then a series of experiments with users to gather and evaluate data and build and validate the new model. A new model, based on a study of British and Taiwanese users, was formulated and validated demonstrating that content and message remain the core of web design but the performance of the selected users is influenced by the cultural dimension and cultural preferences and this, in turn impacts on the effectiveness of the web communication. For the British user sample, ease of using the website was seen to be strongly related to desirability. Taiwanese users showed preference for visual pleasure but no relationship between efficient performance and desirability. The resultant model contributes to the knowledge of how to design effective web interfaces for British and Taiwanese cultures and is replicable for the purpose of comparing approaches to designing for other cultures.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Design
Dept of Design Theses

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