Multilingual website usability: cultural context

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This research in progress paper draws evidence from the anthropological, worldviews and systems design literature, to show how culture and context play a significant role in the way people perceive and approach their interaction with a multilingual e-commerce website. In doing so, this paper shows that a relationship exists between language, cultural context and usability. Some suggestions are provided for how the author might conduct useful research that will lead to some Argyris style actionable knowledge, which designers can use as 'rules of thumb'. This includes testing different groups of users for their responses to examples of 'translated-only' websites. The author is able to draw on Australian and Asian participants for this study. The demands of e-commerce website development need to be kept central, as it is likely to be uneconomical to cater for every user. Some degree of generalization from individuals into cultural groups seems inevitable.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Electronic Commerce (4th : 2002) - City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Duration: 23 Oct 200225 Oct 2002


ConferenceInternational Conference on Electronic Commerce (4th : 2002)
Abbreviated titleICEC 2002
Country/TerritoryHong Kong


  • multicultural
  • website design
  • usability
  • culture
  • context
  • e-commerce


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