Culture and Website: User experience in website redesign based on cultural differences

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Examensarbete för masterexamen
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2019
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Yang, Zihua
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The growth of multinational corporations has lead to the increased importance of cross-cultural communication across the globe. Therefore, the effect of cultural differences on user requirements has become an essential issue. Hofstede’s six dimensions and Hall’s concept of high and low context cultures have been widely discussed and accepted, in relation to marketing and consumption. However, both theories were conceived in the 1970s and may not apply to today’s environment. The investigations for this thesis sought to discover and identify how cultural factors influence user’s preferences for user experience attributes on websites, combining Hofstede’s and Hall’s theories with Holliday’s grammar of culture and Edwin Hoffman’s Culture mode theories. Design attributes such as color and layout were determined using online surveys, usability tests and interviews with middle-class subjects from both Sweden and China. A redesigned website and a guideline for cultural localization in both countries are provided. The results confirm and extend prior research, as significant differences were found in some of the listed design attributes, but tend to be similar in some other attributes. Different user experience design is still suggested for successful communication in different cultural groups. Although this study was applied to cultural differences between China and Sweden, the methodology and design procedure can be adapted for other cultures.
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Cross-cultural design, User experience design, Web design, Usability, Communication, China, Sweden
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