Title: A study of the cultural effects of designing a user interface for a web-based service

Authors: Pei-Luen Patrick Rau, Sheau-Farn Max Liang

Addresses: Department of Management Information Systems, Chung Yuan Christian University, Chunli 320, Taiwan. Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei, Taiwan

Abstract: With the globalisation of markets and the internet, customer satisfaction now depends on how seriously service providers take into account regional user needs combined with culturally-suitable user interface design. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of two cultural dimensions, Time Orientation (TO) and Communication Style (CS), on user performance in browsing a web-based service. A comparison in Hofstede|s cultural dimensions was also made between two Chinese-speaking student groups. The results showed that participants with polychronic TO performed faster and took fewer steps than those with monochronic TO. Participants with high-context CS were more disorientated than those with low-context CS. The comparison in cultural dimensions indicated that there is a variety even within Chinese-speaking cultures. To be able to meet customers| expectations and increase their satisfaction, it is necessary for user interface designers to consider these cultural effects.

Keywords: cultural differences; user interface design; web-based service; Chinese.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2003.003627

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2003 Vol.4 No.4/5/6, pp.480 - 493

Available online: 24 Sep 2003 *

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