A Study of a Cultural Relativism in Web Interface Design
Web interface design and cultural issues are significant factors in implementing effective usage of information systems. This paper aims to explore cultural issues that are influence interface design components in a global context. A Web interface design represents the information architecture of the website and can reflect the way people present, communicate, and behave. This study analysis identifies the cultural prevalent patterns that occur in the Web interface design between different cultural populations. The way each local site presents and communicates in the navigation design can be implicated by classical anthropological studies, those of Hall Edward and Geert Hofstede. Their theoretical paradigms appear to be a useful assessment tool in distinguishing and understanding cultural pattern in the e-commerce interface system. This study shows that different cultural units can lead to the different visual patterns of presenting the interface design. Studying the cultural relativism of user interface design in implementing e-commerce will provide guideline for Internet vendors in helping them to understand the cultural prevalent patterns and to implement to e-commerce design for their targeted audience.
Keywords: Interface Design, e-Commerce, Cultural Relativism, Localization
Prof. Myung Hae Park
Assistant Professor, Department of Design, California State University, Sacramento