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  • -Thank you for being here and for your time to judge my PhD thesis.- Study the relationship between website design and user culture.- The outcome of my research are, local website design guidelines, and a tool. All were proposed to assist website developer to design localized website.
  • Global Website is One Website Fit all Users
  • International Website is a Core Template Website
  • Doesthisculturalacceptable?For some people is not acceptable!
  • These local websites should be usable, understandable and acceptable…This is just in EU…. If you need making profit you need to speak the language and meet the expectation of local people!
  • makingwebsiteusersfeelsthiswebsite is made forme…
  • Interface design elements and features that are preferred, shared, well understood and accepted within a particular cultural group.
  • the results of the project was not as expected!And, for this unexpected result, this thesis is for
  • *** They translate the cultural dimensions into local website design guidelines…*** “do” and “do not do”  it is vital to have clear guidelines to assist website developer in designing localized websites
  • The effect of cultural models on website design markers
  • Homepages, example
  • The Belgians insist on follow the rules whenever possible.For the Palestinians, relationships are more important than rules.
  • The Web itself is transformed from a so-called "Read-only Web" to a "Read-Write Web".“Digital natives“: New ways of information absorption.
  • What are the cultural markers in the earlier & current website version?2. When looking at cultural markers, are there significant differences in the current and earlier versions of the website a. If so, what are those differences?4. What are the cultural markers similar on both versions of the website?
  • As an example of some cultural markers used before in an earlier website version that do not appear in current version, we can mention the website of the Universiti Utara Malaysia. Empirical research carried out by Gould (Gould et al., 2000) has shown that the website of the Universiti Utara Malaysia presented and focused on authority figures and contained power symbols. In their investigation they found that, this Malaysian website contained links on the home page to website administration, pictures and symbols focusing on the country itself rather than featuring photographs of individuals. Moreover, black background, monumental buildings, top level menu selection focused on symbolism and information about the leaders of the University, which correlates well with Malaysian cultural background. By contrast, the current version of the Malaysian university website focuses on individuals. The website now contains pictures of students and teachers, the black background has disappeared, no pictures of monumental buildings anymore and the website’s menu is more focused on students. But still there are some cultural markers available in the current website version. As an example, the current website contains a picture in the homepage of a girl wearing a scarf, which is a symbol for Muslims girls
  • studied the relationship between website design and the user’s culture
  • As all the previous researchers are predict…
  • - Different levels of website localization. --- One single cultural model for localized website design could, in fact, be a poor choice because different levels of localization may be needed in different situations.
  • Social culture: customs, traditions, morals, and values that affects everyone from their physical environment, such as: family, friends, religion, etc.Digital culture” is powered by the use of the Web and digital technology. Currently, people can do most of their daily activities using new forms of technology, for example students can study, write, read news, get information and interact in ways that are very different from previous generationspeople who are using the Web are likely to be faced with different types of websites coming from various countries, which results in new understandings and new experienceWeb and other digital communication technology has an impact on culture, as well as that it creates a culture of its own
  • Franco Arabic
  • For example, in order to localize “website text element” using this level of localization, two things are required: (1) translate the website text to the target language, and (2) investigate if there are specific font size and text orientation requirements from the domain or the context that need to be taken into consideration. Note that for this level, it is not required to consider the issues such as the amount of text, the font type and formality of the text.
  • hence the name “stable”
  • the amount of text needed and the formality of the text are both culturally sensitive and need be considered at this level. Thus, the amount of text and the formality of the text need to meet the expectations of the target culture (e.g., some societies are expecting to find more information and require more explanation, while other society’s prefer quick and direct information).
  • This is because the markers in a level must be read as cumulative; each level depends on each lower level.This is because this level contains the digital culture, which is shared and understood by all Web users, bypassing the cultures.
  • We do not have the intention to provide a detailed localized website design method, although we do see the need for such a method. However, is should be possible to integrate the method into existing web design methods
  • Is a conceptual representation of the Cultural Markers Pyramid.
  • - ORM is easy to understand by non-computer technical users.- ORM is easy to be shared, exchanged, tested, validated and maintained.- There are many tools support drawing ORM.- ORM can be translated into pseudo natural language statements.
  • TransformC2M into a practical format: To be useable in practice, it is best to translate the C2M into a format that can be implemented easily. This transformation will be described on this section
  • An alternative to the use of an ontology for creating our knowledge base is the use of a relational database. That relational database could be used for storing all relevant in-formation that is needed to design a localized website
  • Localization Ontology: is used for providing abstract cultural specificationsCultural markers knowledge base:Is used for storing the values and the description of these specifications for a particular website domain, a particular target country, and a specific website localization level.
  • --First talk about the availability of cultural markers in the knowledgebase, then about the un-availability !-- (separation between the marker itself and the value of the marker)
  • Accordingly, it is not possible to build up an understanding about the target culture requirements by take some of local websites from the target country as example for localizing another local website for that country.we promote the idea that in order to design a localized website, it is necessary to consider two kinds of cultural markers: social and digital cultural markers
  • An interesting finding observed from two research studies (see section ‎6.2.3) was that if a website user is facing an unknown website design element in a website (e.g., a picture, icon), then the website user uses a specific way for understanding the meaning of this element, in which the digital culture and social culture both play an important role.
  • Another valuable contribution is the
  • We have distinguished between these two cultural information repositories because each one has its own contribution and role.
  • PhD Public Presentation

    1. 1. Towards Designing Localized Websites PhD Public Defense Abdalghani Mushtaha Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Department of Computer Science Research Group WISE, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium Abdalghani.mushtaha@vub.ac.be September 2012
    2. 2. Agenda • Background • Problem Description • Aims of the Thesis • Research Approach – Phase One: Culture and Cross-culture Evaluation – Phase Two: Website Localization in Practice • Contributions and Concluding Remarks • Future Work • QuestionsAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 2
    3. 3. BackgroundAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 3
    4. 4. GlobalizationGlobalization: is the process of converting a website to different languages and communities. Website Globalization Website Internationalization Localize Localize Localize for for for ... Country A Country B Country CAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 4
    5. 5. Global WebsiteAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 5
    6. 6. InternationalizationInternationalization: it is philosophy of making website portable to other localities (extracting language and culturally dependent elements). Website Globalization Website Internationalization Localize Localize Localize for for for ... Country A Country B Country CAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 6
    7. 7. International WebsiteAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 7
    8. 8. LocalizationLocalization: Adapting a website by making it usable and culturally acceptable for a particular locale target audience. Website Globalization Website Internationalization Localize Localize Localize for for for ... Country A Country B Country CAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 8
    9. 9. Some Items May Not Always Be AcceptableAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 9
    10. 10. Attitudes Towards Cultural DifferenceAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 10
    11. 11. Jordanian News WebsiteAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 11
    12. 12. Sony Supports 43 Local Website in EU!AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 12
    13. 13. Meets Website Users ExpectationsAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 13
    14. 14. Website Usability and User Culture • Localisation: Adapting a website by making it usable and culturally acceptable for a particular locale target audience. Website usability Culturability User cultureAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 14
    15. 15. Website Usability • “The extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.” – The importance of some usability attributes may be different depending on the website domain. – Every single website has its own usability attributes(e.g., time)! – A website may be usable for you, but not for me.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 15
    16. 16. User Culture • People from different countries are different; every country has its own culture, and the people of the same country think, understand and act in a similar way.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 16
    17. 17. User CultureAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 17
    18. 18. Models of Culture • Cultural differences have been studied and researched by many anthropologists: – e.g., Hofstede, Hall, Victor… • HCI researchers use models of culture to provide a better understanding of the target culture that the website is being localized for.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 18
    19. 19. Cultural Consideration in Website Design • HCI researchers reported obvious cultural sensitive website design elements to be localized for target culture audiences: – icons, colors, measurement units, date & time format, etc. • Red color in China represents happiness, beauty and success, while in South Africa it represents sadness.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 19
    20. 20. Cultural Sensitive Website Design Elements • HCI researchers reported obvious cultural sensitive website design elements to be localized for target culture audiences. Cultural markers, Cultural fingerprints, or Cultural attractorsAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 20
    21. 21. 2005AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 21
    22. 22. Love From the First Sight • In 2005, I joined the one-year project “MultiWeb”. • The aim of the project was: – To examine the research activities done in the context of website localization. – To identify the issues needed to be considered when designing localized websites.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 22
    23. 23. A New Research Question • The research results leaded to the question … whether localization of websites is still needed?AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 23
    24. 24. New Start!AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 24
    25. 25. Conferences, Summer Schools, Meetings …AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 25
    26. 26. Problem DescriptionAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 26
    27. 27. Anthropological Models and Website Design • Most of the anthropological models of culture had been formed some time ago and for a specific domain. – It is not clear to which extent it is valid to use anthropological models of culture for designing localized website.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 27
    28. 28. Localized Websites Design Guidelines • HCI researchers are using the anthropological models of culture to offer guidelines and standards for designing localized websites. – But they do not offer a roadmap to build localized websites!AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 28
    29. 29. Localized Website Design Methods • Current practical website localization methods are: – Very (too) general in assisting a website developer to integrate culture into the website design process (e.g., Al-badi, Hsieh, Smith, etc.). • Existing website design methods usually do not provide explicit support for designing a localized website (e.g., Hera, WSDM, etc.).AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 29
    30. 30. Issues Affecting Designing Localized Website • There is a focus on social culture. – No attention for different types of culture. • It is not clear yet to which extent existing local websites give a clear understanding of the home culture.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 30
    31. 31. Aims of the ThesisAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 31
    32. 32. Aims of the Thesis • To study the relationship between website design and user culture. • To propose culture-centred guidelines for the localization of websites. • To provide a localized website design advisor tool – Providing specific advice on how to localize a particular website.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 32
    33. 33. Research ApproachAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 33
    34. 34. Research Approach Phase One Phase Two Culture and Cross-culture Evaluation Website Localization in Practice Objective: Identify the website Objective: Putting the output of phase cultural markers and the one into practice. anthropological cultural dimensions To achieve the objective: The 5 that should be taken into groups are organized as levels in a consideration when designing pyramid based on their importance for localized websites. localized website design. To achieve the objective: 7 research Outcome: studies have been performed. - A design method for cultural- centered website design Outcome: 5 different groups of - The Cultural Conceptual Model cultural markers and anthropologist (C2M) for different purposes cultural dimensions. - The LWDA tool: generates cultural- centered website design guidelinesAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 34
    35. 35. Phase OneAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 35
    36. 36. Phase One Website User Evaluation • Cultural markers in local website interfaces [2 research studies, published in 2006]: - To study the extent to which local website homepages reflected Hofstede’s score assigned to their country for different cultural dimensions. • Cultural Understanding of Website [2 research studies, published in 2007]: - To explore and evaluate the influence of the users’ cultural background on understanding and acceptance of website content and interface. - To determine the most important anthropological cultural dimensions for local website design. • Website localization preferences [1 research study, published in 2009]: - To determine the extent to which websites from the same country provide similar cultural markers and share the same distinctive identity. Cultural Usability Evolution • To determine the different types of website design cultural markers and the anthropological cultural dimensions that are appropriate to be used for website localization [2 research studies, published in 2009].AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 36
    37. 37. Cultural Markers in Local Website Interfaces (1) [2 research studies] • Methodology: PDI IDV MAS UAI -------------- -------------- -------------- -------------- – 16 Belgian student. Malaysia USA Japan Greece Each dimension was Guatemal Australia Austria Portugal examined by 4 Panama Great Britain Venezuela Guatemala students. Philippines Canada Italy Uruguay Mexico Netherlands Switzerland Belgium – Within one dimension, Venezuela New Zealand Mexico Salvador each student examined 10 university Arab Italy Ireland Japan homepages. countries Belgium Jamaica Yugoslavia Equador Denmark Great Britain Peru • 5 universities at least 3 of the seven highest ….. ….. ….. ….. ranked countries. Switzerland Peru Portugal India Finland Costa Rica Chile Malaysia • 5 universities, from at Norway Pakistan Finland Great Britain least 3 of the nine Sweden Indonesia Yugoslavia Ireland lowest ranked Ireland Colombia Costa Rica Hong Kong countries. New Zealand Venezuela Denmark Sweden Denmark Panama Netherlands Denmark – In total, 40 homepages Israel Equador Norway Jamaica were analyzed per Austria Guatemala Sweden Singapore dimension.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 37
    38. 38. Cultural Markers in Local Website Interfaces (2) [2 research studies] • Results: were inconsistent with previous similar studies described in the literature. – Sometimes, huge design differences among homepages from one single country.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 38
    39. 39. Cultural Markers in Local Website Interfaces (3) [2 research studies] • The experiment was repeated with students from a different culture and for a different type of websites: newspaper websites. – With the aim to validate the results of the first study! • Results: – To some extent the results of the second study confirm the results of the first study. – Local homepages did not actually reflect the local culture, as Hofstede’s theory predicted. • BUT, some cultural values for cultural dimensions exist in some websites. – Some domains may be more sensitive to cultural difference than others.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 39
    40. 40. Phase One Website User Evaluation • Cultural markers in local website interfaces [2 research studies, published in 2006]: - To study the extent to which local website homepages reflected Hofstede’s score assigned to their country for different cultural dimensions. • Cultural Understanding of Website [2 research studies, published in 2007]: - To explore and evaluate the influence of the users’ cultural background on understanding and acceptance of website content and interface. - To determine the most important anthropological cultural dimensions for local website design. • Website localization preferences [1 research study, published in 2009]: - To determine the extent to which websites from the same country provide similar cultural markers and share the same distinctive identity. Cultural Usability Evolution • To determine the different types of website design cultural markers and the anthropological cultural dimensions that are appropriate to be used for website localization [2 research studies, published in 2009].AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 40
    41. 41. Cultural Understanding of Website (1) [2 research studies] • Methodology: A comparative study was carried out involving Palestinian and Belgian students: – To measure understanding and acceptance of some pre-selected E-learning portals (WebCT and Collaborative Learning Centre). – 16 cultural dimensions were involved. – A multi-method approach was used.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 41
    42. 42. Cultural Understanding of Website (2) - Results [2 research studies] • This part measures the understanding of the two portals Meaning Icon Expectation Matching Expectation Matching [Ps.] [Ps.] [Be.] [Be.] Homepages 77% 0% 84% 0% Calendar 86% 41% 81% 62% Chat 93% 89% 90.5% 92% Syllabus 62% 2% 52% 0% Links 23% 0% 43% 0% Mail 79% 37% 100% 32% Discussion 19% 23% 62% 14%AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 42
    43. 43. Cultural Understanding of Website (3) - Results [2 research studies] International Trade and Communication Face-Saving Experience of Technology Specific vs. Diffuse Affective vs. Neutral Achievement vs. Ascription Universalism vs. Particularism Uncertainty Avoidance Belgium Power Distance palestine Gender Roles Context Authority Conception Time Orientation Internal vs. External Control Individualism vs. Collectivism Human Nature Orientation 0 1 2 3 4 5 Rating scale 1 to 5 : 1= strongly disagree … 5 = strongly agreeAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 43
    44. 44. Cultural Understanding of Website (3) - Observation [2 research studies] • There is a convergence in some cultural values between students of both countries. – However, there are still differences in some of cultural dimensions. • Some cultural factors are still important and should be taken into consideration when do localization. • Thanks to modern communication: cultural gap between the two groups seems to decrease. • New culture seems to appear.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 44
    45. 45. Phase One Website User Evaluation • Cultural markers in local website interfaces [2 research studies, published in 2006]: - To study the extent to which local website homepages reflected Hofstede’s score assigned to their country for different cultural dimensions. • Cultural Understanding of Website [2 research studies, published in 2007]: - To explore and evaluate the influence of the users’ cultural background on understanding and acceptance of website content and interface. - To determine the most important anthropological cultural dimensions for local website design. • Website localization preferences [1 research study, published in 2009]: - To determine the extent to which websites from the same country provide similar cultural markers and share the same distinctive identity. Cultural Usability Evolution • To determine the different types of website design cultural markers and the anthropological cultural dimensions that are appropriate to be used for website localization [2 research studies, published in 2009].AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 45
    46. 46. Website Localization Preferences [1 research study] • Methodology: – Research has been conducted where we re- examined, validated and compared local websites from the same country. • Results: – Many differences between local websites from the same country.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 46
    47. 47. Phase One Website User Evaluation • Cultural markers in local website interfaces [2 research studies, published in 2006]: - To study the extent to which local website homepages reflected Hofstede’s score assigned to their country for different cultural dimensions. • Cultural Understanding of Website [2 research studies, published in 2007]: - To explore and evaluate the influence of the users’ cultural background on understanding and acceptance of website content and interface. - To determine the most important anthropological cultural dimensions for local website design. • Website localization preferences [1 research study, published in 2009]: - To determine the extent to which websites from the same country provide similar cultural markers and share the same distinctive identity. Cultural Usability Evolution • To determine the different types of website design cultural markers and the anthropological cultural dimensions that are appropriate to be used for website localization [2 research studies, published in 2009].AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 47
    48. 48. Cultural Usability Evolution (1) [2 research studies] • This research was built upon the existing body of research in website design and anthropologists’ cultural dimensions: – Cultural markers evaluation: re-evaluate some pre-researched websites. – Evaluation & ranking of 16 anthropologist’s cultural dimensions. The findings were evaluated and compared against earlier research results!AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 48
    49. 49. Cultural Usability Evolution (2) – 1st study [2 research studies] Comparison of cultural markers in current and earlier versions of the same website (22 websites). Evaluation and comparison focused on five main design components: (1) Text density, size, orientation, style, and type; (2) Page layout; (3) Colors; (4) Pictures, graphic elements, and sound; (5) Interaction and navigation.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 49
    50. 50. Cultural Usability Evolution (3) - Findings [2 research studies] • Some cultural markers disappeared, some are new, while others are still used. Cultural markers Cultural markers Cultural markers appeared in old only appear in only appeared in and current current website old version website version versionAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 50
    51. 51. Cultural Usability Evolution (4) – 2nd study [2 research studies] • 19 experts participated to evaluate 16 cultural dimensions. – More than 6 years of experience in the field of user-interface design, localization, or translation. The Participants were asked for: – Their opinion about each cultural dimension ; – To rate it from 1 to 5, according to its importance for local website design.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 51
    52. 52. Cultural Usability Evolution (5) – Findings [2 research studies] • Cultural dimensions according to their importance for local website design [two research results]: Aaron Marcus research results Current research results 1 Context Experience of Technology 2 Technological development Context 3 Uncertainty avoidance International Trade and Communication 4 Time perception Gender Roles 5 Authority conception Uncertainty Avoidance 6 Affective vs. neutral Human Nature Orientation. 7 Face-saving Power Distance • The findings indicate that anthropological cultural dimensions are still considered to be important for local website design.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 52
    53. 53. END Phase One….AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 53
    54. 54. AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 54
    55. 55. Every Culture, Website and Time have its Own Meaning • The culture of Web users changes and shifts with the understanding of the Web! • Websites from the same country provide different cultural markers! Social • .Two kinds of culture DigitalAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 55
    56. 56. Different Cultural Markers for Local Website Design • Identifying absolute and clear-cut cultural markers or using a dedicated anthropologist cultural model for designing localized website is not possible. Cultural markers Cultural markers Markers appear Cultural markers appear in old and only appear in from using the only appeared in current website current website Internet and new old version version version technologyAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 56
    57. 57. AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 57
    58. 58. Phase TwoAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 58
    59. 59. Phase Two Phase Two Website Localization in Practice Objective: Putting the output of phase one into practice. To achieve the objective: The 5 groups are organized as levels in a pyramid based on their importance for localized website design. Outcome: - A design method for cultural-centered website design - The Cultural Conceptual Model (C2M) for different purposes - The LWDA tool: generates cultural-centered website design guidelinesAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 59
    60. 60. Pyramid of Cultural Markers Vista Fully-localized (5) Variable Highly-localized (4) Social cultural markers Broad Localized (3) Stable Semi-localized (2) Digital cultural markers e-culture Globalize (1)AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 60
    61. 61. Pyramid of Cultural Markers • Each level considers markers of: – Website design elements • (1) Text on websites Vista • (2) Colors Variable • (3) Layout and Organization • (4) Pictures, Graphic Elements, and Broad Sound Stable • (5) Interaction e-culture • (6) Navigation – Anthropological cultural dimensions.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 61
    62. 62. E-Culture Level (1) • This group contains the cultural markers that come from using the Web and new Vista technology (some cultural Variable Broad markers are not related to Stable the user’s social culture): e-culture – Digital Cultural Markers.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 62
    63. 63. E-Culture Level (2) • Three digital cultural markers groups: – Web Digital Markers (WDM): e.g., the home page icon. Vista – Domain Digital Markers (DDM): Variable e.g., shopping basket in an e- Broad commerce website. Stable e-culture – Country Digital Markers (CDM): e.g., Franco Arabic is used between Arab Web users (Writing Arabic with the Latin alphabet).AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 63
    64. 64. E-Culture Level (3) Design Markers (requirements and advices) Element (R): required, (A): Advice Text on - The website content text needs to be Vista websites translated to the local target language (R) Variable [T] - Use text orientation and font size as Broad required by the domain or context (R) Stable - …… e-culture - …… Colors [C] - Red, green, black, white, orange and blue colors are culturally sensitive colors. Avoid using ….. culturally sensitive colors in this level. It is also ….. ………. …..AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 64
    65. 65. Stable Level (1) • This level includes all cultural markers that were clearly emphasized and found in many Vista previous researches, as well as Variable those confirmed by my research Broad studies. Stable e-culture • It considers – Website design elements & – Anthropological cultural dimensions.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 65
    66. 66. Stable Level (2) Design Markers (requirements and advices) Element (R): required, (A): Advice Text on - Adjust the amount of text to the target culture websites [T] Vista (R) Variable - Adjust the level of formality of website text to the target culture (A) Broad - …. Stable - ….. e-culture Colors [C] - ….. Layout and - ….. organization - ….. [L]AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 66
    67. 67. Stable Level (3) • Anthropologists cultural dimensions to be considered for the stable level are: Vista Variable – Context Broad – Experience of technology Stable – Uncertainty avoidance e-culture – Power distanceAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 67
    68. 68. Stable Level (4) • Context, “The degree of direct and explicit information needed in a Vista website”. Variable Broad • This dimension affects the Stable following website design e-culture elements: T L C GS I N      AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 68
    69. 69. Broad Level • The Broad cultural level includes the website design markers and the Vista anthropological cultural Variable Broad dimensions that were: Stable – discovered in my research. e-cultureAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 69
    70. 70. Variable Level • The Variable level includes the cultural markers and anthropological cultural Vista dimensions that were: Variable Broad – discovered in previous Stable research and were not e-culture confirmed in this current research.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 70
    71. 71. Vista Level • The Vista level contains all the other anthropological cultural dimensions that Vista were: Variable Broad – not mentioned neither in the Stable current nor in previous others e-culture research studies.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 71
    72. 72. Using the Cultural Markers Pyramid Levels • Website Globalisation – only the “e-culture level”, should be Vista Fully-localized considered. Variable Highly-localized Broad • Bottom-up Website Localized Localization Stable Semi-localized – Levels should be e-culture Globalize applied bottom up.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 72
    73. 73. A Design Method for Cultural-Centered Website Design Plan The Website Website Website domain Degree of Target country Language domain Related Localisation (1 to 5) Vista Compose the Required Cultural Model Variable Anthropological cultural dimenstions Website design elements Broad Stable Cultural Specification e-culture Investigating the target local culture Interviewing local cultural experts Localized Website Design Elements Specification Layout and Pictures, graphic Text Colors Interaction Navigation organization elements and soundAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 73
    74. 74. Observation • The cultural markers pyramid only provides generic guidelines – Which still need to be instantiated for a certain culture (e.g., navigation depth accepted by target culture group). • The proposed Cultural Markers Pyramid is useful for technical users who are familiar with anthropological cultural dimensions.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 74
    75. 75. Phase Two Cultural Markers Pyramid Putting the Cultural Markers Pyramid into PracticeAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 75
    76. 76. Putting the Cultural Markers Pyramid into Practice Phase Two Website Localization in Practice Objective: Putting the output of phase one into Practice. To achieve the objective: The 5 groups are organized as levels in a pyramid based on their importance for localized website design. Outcome: - The Cultural Conceptual Model (C2M) for different purposes - The LWDA tool: generates cultural-centered website design guidelinesAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 76
    77. 77. Cultural Conceptual Model (C2M) • The Cultural Conceptual Model (C2M) is a formal description of the Cultural Markers Pyramid. • Easy to be shared by experts and provides a central and unique source of knowledge: – Can be used to maintain, testing and enhancement this knowledge. • The conceptual model can be used by different applications and systems to provide different kinds of support.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 77
    78. 78. Cultural Conceptual Model (C2M) Overview Object-Role Modelling (ORM) for Conceptual Knowledge Representation. The conceptual model has been tested and several improvements have been applied before I obtained this final model.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 78
    79. 79. C2M Starting Point: WebsiteAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 79
    80. 80. Putting the Cultural Conceptual Model (C2M) into PracticeAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 80
    81. 81. Building a Localization Ontology from C2M • C2M is an ontology describing a particular domain which is website design, with the focus on the special purpose of cultural localization. • Mapping: – ORM into Ontology Inference Layer (OIL), – Mapping OIL and XML Schema into OWL.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 81
    82. 82. OWL Code Generated from Mapping the XML SchemaAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 82
    83. 83. Mapping ORM into a Relational Schema • It is possible to create a corresponding databaseAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 83
    84. 84. Putting the Cultural Markers Pyramid into Practice Phase Two Website Localization in Practice Objective: Putting the output of phase one into Practice. To achieve the objective: The 5 groups are organized as levels in a pyramid based on their importance for localized website design. Outcome: - The Cultural Conceptual Model (C2M) for different purposes - LWDA tool: generates cultural-centered website design guidelinesAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 84
    85. 85. Localized Website Design Advisor (LWDA) toolAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 85
    86. 86. Localized Website Design Advisor (LWDA) tool • Is a web-based tool. • Dynamically generates target localized website specifications (guidelines) by given: – Target country, – Language, – Level of localization (1 to 5), – Website domain. • Uses the Localization Ontology and knowledge base.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 86
    87. 87. LWDA ArchitectureAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 87
    88. 88. Target Localized Website Specification GuidelineAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 88
    89. 89. Target Localized Website Specification Guideline (1) Localized Website Design Advisor “LWDA” Localization level 3, Broad: >>> BroadWebsiteDesignElements: •BroadWebsiteDesignElements contains BroadColors. •BroadWebsiteDesignElements contains BroadInteraction. •BroadWebsiteDesignElements contains BroadLayoutAndOrganization. •BroadWebsiteDesignElements contains BroadNavigation. •BroadWebsiteDesignElements contains BroadPicturesGraphicAndSound. •BroadWebsiteDesignElements contains BroadTextOnWebsite. BroadColors: •BroadColors is an instance of StableColors.BroadColors use SensitiveColors (Inherited from StableColors) . • SensitiveColors used in WebsiteDomain [Kids,News and Health]. {Expert note: - White: Do not use this color. This color is a symbolism of death and mourning. - Red: Use this color. This color is a symbolism of good luck, celebration and summoning - Blue: Use this color. This color is a symbolism of immortality }AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 89
    90. 90. Target Localized Website Specification Guideline (2) BroadNavigation: •BroadNavigation is an instance of StableNavigation.BroadNavigation is concerns on CategorizationLinkGrouping (Inherited from StableNavigation) . {Expert note: - Chinese website users prefers website interfaces extremely busy, links everywhere } •BroadNavigation is concerns on NumberOfLinksInaGroup (Inherited from StableNavigation) . {Expert note: - the average between 8 to 30. The fact that Chinese pages are more dense, does not translate into shorter pages, but into higher amounts of items shown simultaneously to the website user. } •BroadNavigation is concerns on InformationAccessibility. • InformationAccessibility meets experience of TargetCultureGroup [China]. {Expert note: - The home page presents all sections of the website. This gives website users a quick peek of the content - Chinese website users prefer different paths to arrive to the same information } •BroadNavigation is concerns on NavigationalStyle. • NavigationalStyle meets TargetCultureGroup [China]. {Expert note: - Chinese website because they are web pages are so clustered - Links opened in the new browser window }AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 90
    91. 91. ConclusionAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 91
    92. 92. Concluding Remarks (1) • Relying on only one theory of anthropological model of culture is not desirable: – The more anthropological models of culture are involved in a study, the more insight there is into the user social culture preferences. • New technology and Internet experience have slightly decreased the gap between the cultures for many people who are using the Web.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 92
    93. 93. Concluding Remarks (2) • Some anthropological cultural dimensions are important and should be taken into consideration to understand the social culture of the website target audience. • Some website domains may be more sensitive to cultural difference than others (e.g., news and learning).AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 93
    94. 94. Concluding Remarks (3) • Local websites from the same country does not always provide similar cultural markers. • Web users are using two different types of cultures to understand a website: (1) Digital culture (2) Social cultureAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 94
    95. 95. Concluding Remarks (4) • Three different groups of digital cultural markers exist: – Web Digital Markers “WDM” – Domain Digital Markers “DDM” – Country Digital Markers “CDM”AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 95
    96. 96. Concluding Remarks (5) • When a website user is facing an unknown website design element in a website (e.g., a picture, icon), then  the website user uses a specific way for understanding the meaning of this element, in which the digital culture and social culture both play an important role.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 96
    97. 97. Concluding Remarks (6) • The seven experiments showed that it is difficult to establish an absolute and clear- cut set of cultural markers to be used for designing localized website. – For this reason, this research has argued the need for different groups of cultural markers for local website design and localization.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 97
    98. 98. Contributions (1) • Five cultural markers groups are organized as a Fully-localized pyramid targeting Highly-localized five different levels of Localized website localization. Semi-localized GlobalizeAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 98
    99. 99. Contributions (2) • The Cultural Conceptual Model (C2M) is provided. – Formal representation of the cultural markers pyramid’s guidelines. – Transformed into two different technical specifications: (1) a Localization Ontology and (2) a Relational schema.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 99
    100. 100. Contributions (3) • As proof of concept for the theory developed in the thesis, the Localized Website Design Advisor (LWDA) was developed. – Dynamically generates specific website localization guidelines by given a target country, language, level of localization (1 to 5), and website domain. • Two cultural markers information repositories were created: – Localization Ontology – Cultural knowledge baseAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 100
    101. 101. Future Work Adaptive Cultural-centered Websites A Methodology for user cultural- centered Localized Website Design Building a Cultural DatabaseAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 101
    102. 102. Future Work - Personalized Culture-centred Websites • Suppose that a person is 30 years old: – Currently he has been living in Belgium for 10 years, and he is form China where he lived for 20 years. What kind of website localization should we offer for this person? To which cultural group does this person belong (e.g., Belgium or China)?AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 102
    103. 103. Future Work - A Methodology for user cultural-centered Localized Website Design • Future research Plan The Website may focus on Website Website domain Degree of Target country Language extending and domain Related Localisation (1 to 5) enhancing the proposed Compose the Required Cultural Model method. Anthropological cultural dimenstions Website design elements • Or integrate the proposed model Cultural Specification with other exist Investigating the target local culture Interviewing local cultural experts website design methods (e.g., WSDM) Localized Website Design Elements Specification Layout and Pictures, graphic Text Colors Interaction Navigation organization elements and soundAM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 103
    104. 104. Future Work - Building a Cultural Database • Database storing all website cultural markers to be used for: - Website Localization - Website Globalization. Culture and Cross-culture Database • In this respect, my student Rasha Tolba did some efforts: – She has gathered the social cultural markers of three website domain: news, health and learning for Jordan.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 104
    105. 105. Questions Thank You !!AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 105
    106. 106. Summary and Main Contribution • Phase 1: 7 research studies to study the relationship between websites design and user culture. – The culture of Web users changes with the understanding of the Web! – Websites from the same country provide different cultural markers! – Two kinds of culture: Social and Digital. – One list of cultural markers to be used for designing localized website is not possible. • Phase 2: put the research findings in practice: – Five cultural markers groups are organized as a pyramid targeting five different levels of website localization. – Transformed the cultural pyramid into the Cultural Conceptual Model (C2M), to be used for different purposes. – The Localized Website Design Advisor - LWDA – tool was built to dynamically generate localized website specifications guidelines.AM PhD Defence – Brussels10/09/2012 | page. 106

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