Design philosophy of web-resources for a multicultural audience

Based on the analysis of parametric theory of G. Hofstede in the context of the educational process, research of A. Marcus , and the theory of cognitive styles of R. Nisbett (Nisbett, 2003), theoretical guidelines to manage the structure and design of cultural and adaptive Web User Interfaces have been developed. Here are some of them.

The following criteria are specific for the indicator “Individualism – Collectivism”:

  • Metaphoras:

    • Individualism: focuses on actions, instruments, objectives;
    • Collectivism: focuses on connections, relations between the objects, content;
  • Mental models:

    • Individualism: focuses on product, objective; targeting to implementation and maximization of personal goals and achievements;
    • Collectivism: focuses on the role, duty; models directed to socio-political and cultural goals and underestimating the significance of personal achievements;
  • Navigation system:

    • Individualism: global (overall) and a customized navigation system; individual areas (popular elections, elections of famous people); the system remains unchanged regardless of the user’s role; the ability to customize some functions;
    • Collectivism: contextual navigation system; general and official elections focused on groups of people; the systems vary based on the user role;
  • Interaction:

    • Individualism: keyword search; focuses on active measures; possibility of using several devices; user-customized system.
    • Collectivism: limited interaction; officially adopted devices are available; management depends on the user role;
  • Visual component:

    • Individualism: emphasis on personal success, benefit, objectives and purposes; success is expressed through materialism and consumerism; image of the younger generation, individuals, and active actions; the content is focused on personal achievements, new and unique products and concepts; expression of personal opinion of the users is welcome, discussions are encouraged; generally, users are not required to provide personal information; low context; active dynamic speech; direct access to the user as an individual;
    • Collectivism: emphasis on institutional success, objectives and relationships; success is expressed through representation of social and political programs; images of adult and experienced leaders and groups of people are presented; the content highlights group achievements, history and cultural traditions, contains official slogans and elections; expression of a personal opinion is not encouraged; high context; official terminology; formal style of speech; appeal to the user as a part of society, pronounced unity with others.

For all other Hofstede model parameters, conformity expressed in the influence of cultural indicators on the specifics of user interaction with an Internet resource can be also traced.

 

See more: How knowledge about different cultures is shaking the foundations of psychology

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