Lack of shared meaning can make communication difficult for people of different cultures. Perceptions and practical experience are important influences when devising and developing online learning experiences in cross-cultural contexts. In this study, 15 educational designers studying for their Masters Degree were asked to contribute their interpretations to an ongoing study of what meaning and interpretations were generated from a series of different learning environments offered via the Web. Course materials were designed in Australia and delivered into Hong Kong, SAR, and China. Students did not always interpret the visual information in the manner expected by the original designers. This paper discusses the outcomes of the investigation relating students' perceptions of the appropriateness of the western interface design guidelines as they applied them to a number of exemplary Chinese WWW sites, highlighting the cultural differences in meaning and representation.