Cultural Cognitive Style and the Web: Toward a Theory and Practice of Web Design for International Users

Cultural Cognitive Style and the Web: Toward a Theory and Practice of Web Design for International Users

A. Faiola (Indiana University-Perdue University Indianapolis, USA) and S. Matei (Purdue University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-213-8.ch010
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Abstract

Several technological developments have altered our world in the last half-century. Among these were the new information processing and distribution platforms supported by computer-mediated communication (CMC). In 2005, Forrester Research found that 50% of Internet users were non-English speakers, and this number would increase to 66% by 2006. For many designers and Web usability researchers, addressing this situation seem limited to translating Web interfaces or content. Although early studies in usability testing have identified considerable cultural differences among users (D’Andrade, 1984; Evers & Day, 1997), a need exists for a more rigorous investigation from a cross-cultural perspective into how Web sites are designed. The authors hold that the cultural cognitive styles of Web designers ultimately affect the performance and preferences of online users. As a result, specific attention should be paid to the impact of the Web designers’ culturally shaped cognitive style on the design and development of online information.

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