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Impact of culture to the content of websites Elena Vitkauskaitė Kaunas University of Technology Lithuania.

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Presentation on theme: "Impact of culture to the content of websites Elena Vitkauskaitė Kaunas University of Technology Lithuania."— Presentation transcript:

1 Impact of culture to the content of websites Elena Vitkauskaitė Kaunas University of Technology Lithuania

2 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite 2 Agenda 1. Culture 2. Standardise or localise? 3. Why localisation efforts fail? 4. Levels of culture 4.1. Perceptual level 4.2. Behavioural level 4.3. Symbolic level

3 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite 3 1. Culture The culture is man-made part of the human environment (Herskovits, 1955)

4 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite 4 2. Standardise or localise? Standardisation strategy uses promotional messages internationally, translating but not otherwise modifying headings, illustrations or copy Localisation (or adaptation) strategy posits that consumer difference may have been widening and that messages should be tailored according to culture, media availability, product life-cycle stages and industry structures Third school of thought offers a compromise approach – appropriateness of standardisation depends on the product, consumer characteristics and environmental factors

5 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite 5 3. Why localisation efforts fail? Designers do not necessarily know about other cultures Cosmetic changes are not enough Source: Bortoli, de M., Gillham, R., & Maroto, J. (2003). Cross-cultural Interactive Marketing & Website Usability

6 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite 6 4. Levels of culture Perceptual level (emphasises on language use and colour categories) Behavioural level (emphasises on cultural values) Symbolic level (emphasises on emic understanding of signs and symbols of the society) Source: Singh, N. (2002). Analyzing Cultural Sensitivity of Websites: A Normative Framework. Journal of Practical Global Business, Vol. 1, No. 2, 32–53

7 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite Perceptual level Spatial orientation Web page layout Text length Navigation modes Translation equivalence Dialects Colour categories Source: Singh, N. (2002). Analyzing Cultural Sensitivity of Websites: A Normative Framework. Journal of Practical Global Business, Vol. 1, No. 2, 32–53

8 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite Behavioral level Cultural values proposed by G. Hofstede (1980) and E. T. Hall (1976): Individualism – collectivism Uncertainty avoidance Power distance Masculinity – femininity Confusian dynamism High / low context cultures Polychronic / monochronic cultures

9 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite Individualism - collectivism Community relations Clubs or chat rooms Newsletter Family theme Symbols and pictures of national identity Loyalty programs Links to local web sites Source: Singh, N., Kumar, V., & Baack, D. (2005). Adaptation of cultural content: evidence from B2C e-commerce firms. European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 39, No. 1/2,

10 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite 10 Graphic elements of website related to the individualism – collectivism dimension HighLow images of individualsimages of groups images of young images of aged and experienced emphasis on actionemphasis on state of being Source: Callahan, E. (2006). Cultural Similarities and Differences in the Design of University Web sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol. 11, No. 1,

11 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite 11 Example of website for individualistic country Image of young I / My Image of individual Materialism Emphasis on action

12 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite 12 Example of website for collectivistic country National identity Images of groups

13 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite Uncertainty avoidance Customer service Guided navigation Tradition theme Local stores Local terminology Free trials or downloads Toll-free numbers Source: Singh, N., Kumar, V., & Baack, D. (2005). Adaptation of cultural content: evidence from B2C e-commerce firms. European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 39, No. 1/2,

14 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite 14 Graphic elements of website related to the uncertainty avoidance dimension HighLow limited choicesvariety of choices restricted amounts of datalong pages with scrolling limited scrolling references to daily lifeabstract images redundancy Source: Callahan, E. (2006). Cultural Similarities and Differences in the Design of University Web sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol. 11, No. 1,

15 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite 15 Example of website for high uncertainty avoidance country Limited choices Restricted amounts of dataLimited scrolling

16 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite 16 Example of website for low uncertainty avoidance country Variety of choices Long pages with scrolling

17 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite Power distance Company hierarchy information Pictures of CEOs Quality assurance and awards Vision statement Pride of ownership appeal Proper titles Source: Singh, N., Kumar, V., & Baack, D. (2005). Adaptation of cultural content: evidence from B2C e-commerce firms. European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 39, No. 1/2,

18 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite 18 Graphic elements of website related to the power distance dimension HighLow symmetryasymmetry tall hierarchiesshallow hierarchies focus on official seal, national emblems photos of students rather than faculty photographs of leadersimages of both genders monumental buildingsimages of public spaces monumentsimages of everyday activities Source: Callahan, E. (2006). Cultural Similarities and Differences in the Design of University Web sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol. 11, No. 1,

19 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite 19 Example of website for high power distance country Focus on official seal

20 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite 20 Example of website for low power distance country Photos of students Images of both genders Asymmetry

21 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite Masculinity – femininity Quizzes and games Realism theme Product effectiveness Clear gender roles Source: Singh, N., Kumar, V., & Baack, D. (2005). Adaptation of cultural content: evidence from B2C e-commerce firms. European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 39, No. 1/2,

22 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite 22 Graphic elements of website related to the masculinity – femininity dimension HighLow limited choicesmultiple choices orientation toward goalsorientation toward relationships emphasis on tradition and authority frequent images of people, especially showing them laughing, talking or studying together frequent images of buildings graphics used for utilitarian purposes attention gained by visual aesthetics Source: Callahan, E. (2006). Cultural Similarities and Differences in the Design of University Web sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Vol. 11, No. 1,

23 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite 23 Example of website for masculine country To-the-point information Graphics used for utilitarian purposes Orientation toward goals

24 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite 24 Example of website for feminine country Attention gained by visual aesthetics

25 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite 25 Example of website for masculine country

26 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite High / low context cultures High context culture Politeness and indirectness Soft-sell approach Aesthetics Low context culture Hard-sell approach Use of superlatives Rank of prestige of the company Terms and conditions of purchase Source: Singh, N., Kumar, V., & Baack, D. (2005). Adaptation of cultural content: evidence from B2C e-commerce firms. European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 39, No. 1/2,

27 30 April 2015Elena Vitkauskaite Symbolic level Country-specific symbols Icons Color symbolism Source: Singh, N. (2002). Analyzing Cultural Sensitivity of Websites: A Normative Framework. Journal of Practical Global Business, Vol. 1, No. 2, 32–53

28 Thank you for your attention Questions?


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