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Communications & Media
Dissertation Review
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Web Design a Study of Chinese and UK Websites (Dissertation Review Sample)


the topic of thesis is "The culture difference on web design a study of Chinese and UK websites" and i have written literature review


The culture difference on web design a study of Chinese and UK websites
Contents TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u Literature review PAGEREF _Toc426653216 \h 3Culture and Culture Differences PAGEREF _Toc426653217 \h 3The importance of Culture in Visual Design PAGEREF _Toc426653218 \h 3Defining culture PAGEREF _Toc426653219 \h 4Dimensional differences between Cultures PAGEREF _Toc426653220 \h 4Culture as a tool of perception PAGEREF _Toc426653221 \h 5Culture of Chinese PAGEREF _Toc426653222 \h 6Geography and history of China PAGEREF _Toc426653223 \h 6Folk Religion and philosophy in China PAGEREF _Toc426653224 \h 7Chinese Cultural dimensions PAGEREF _Toc426653225 \h 8Chinese cultural values PAGEREF _Toc426653226 \h 9Elements of web design PAGEREF _Toc426653227 \h 9Navigation system PAGEREF _Toc426653228 \h 10Layout PAGEREF _Toc426653229 \h 11Icons PAGEREF _Toc426653230 \h 11Color PAGEREF _Toc426653231 \h 12Language PAGEREF _Toc426653232 \h 12Interactivity in websites PAGEREF _Toc426653233 \h 12Contents PAGEREF _Toc426653234 \h 13References PAGEREF _Toc426653235 \h 13
Literature review
Culture and Culture Differences
Culture is a learned part of the life of every member of the society. Culture is not same at all parts of the worlds. It varies society to society, community to community, even east to west CITATION Hor83 \l 1033 (Horton & Hunt, 1983). Different cultures create culture differences in people. Cultural differences can be defined as the way people perceive different things differently. There is no similarity found in their conceptual and intellectual level of perception CITATION Ara02 \l 1033 (Norenzayan, et al., 2002). The cultural differences create fundamental differences in the attitude of the people. These differences affect the beliefs, behaviors, values and even affects the expectations of the people. Every culture has its own uniqueness CITATION Edw91 \l 1033 (Said, 1991) that is the reason when people of different culture meet each other than culture conflicts appear. Similarly, cultures may use different standards of perceiving different voices, silence, color and gestures. So it is very important in all fields of life to consider the culture difference before encountering with the people of different cultures. Cultural diversity has become an important issue to be addressed in multinational companies. Furthermore, the world has become a global village and information technology has become the essential part of every person in this world CITATION Ame04 \l 1033 (Zakour, 2004). Thus, culture differences also play an imperative role in web designing as well because people of different culture have different meanings for different colors, images, designs and language. So, cultural differences must be considered before designing any web because Chinese people perceive different characteristics of web differently than Britain. It is only because of the cultural diversity in different cultures.
The importance of Culture in Visual Design
Visual design includes the aesthetics of the web site. The aesthetic element are images, font, color, language and other elements of the web design. Some basic elements that collectively make visual design are lines, shapes, color choice, texture, form, font and typography. Attractive visual design helps the company to attract more customers CITATION Jim14 \l 1033 (Krause, 2014). The visual design is also the part of the material object of every culture. Thus, it must be carefully design and culture differences are essential element that need to be considered while designing the web. The reflections of emotions, behavior and way of thinking are different for different elements of web designs of different cultures. Similarly, cultural characteristics of a user plays significant role in interaction and understanding of the web design CITATION Cal04 \l 1033 (Callahan, 2004). Like, a user of China cannot understand the slangs of Britain, when he will fail to understand the web page he will avoid next to use or visit that site. Hence, consideration of culture differences can increase the usability of a website. As, there are two aspects of culture in relation to visual design. One is objective culture and other is subjective culture. Objective culture in web design includes metaphor, date, time, text orientation, page layout, format, numbering, color and language. On the other hand subjective culture includes the psychological features like values, belief and pattern of thinking of the user of the web pageCITATION Ala11 \l 1033 (Daniel & van, 2011). The attractive websites always consider both aspects of culture while designing the web page because their success is depend on the user’s number. Therefore, culture plays essential role in visual design.
Defining culture
Before understanding the cultural difference it is necessary to know the culture and its definition. There are different definitions of culture by various authors. All describe culture in their own way. According to Meads, culture is a complex and traditional behavior which has been created by the human race and learned by each generation CITATION Her02 \l 1033 (Mead, 2002). Similarly, another author has described culture as total socially acquired way of life of a people that consists similar patterns of thinking, feelings and reflection CITATION MHa75 \l 1033 (M.Harris, 1975). Moreover, other described culture as a learned and accumulated experience of persons life that transmitted generation to generation in a particular social group CITATION Rog81 \l 1033 (Keesing, 1981). Likewise, other authors defined that culture is an information, which affect individual’s behavior, this information, they acquire from the other members of the society CITATION Ric051 \l 1033 (Richerson & Boyd, 2005). In general words, culture is a way of life of every individual. Culture is always learned, not inherited. It always derives from the social environment of the individual. It is different from human nature and human personality, even it affects human personality in many ways. Culture is a derivative of individual experience, sometimes it is learned or sometimes it is created by the individual or passed by the ancestors. Furthermore, culture is always a psychologically and socially distributed in a group as it shares identical set of attitude CITATION Avr98 \l 1033 (Avruch, 1998).However, culture is a complex notion, and no single definition can adequately describe it but overall from all the above definition we can deduced that culture is a set of shared values, beliefs and thinking pattern and culture is transmitted generation to generation and it changes time to time according to the need of society and not a single society can survive without a culture because it shapes individuals life and thinking patterns as well.
Dimensional differences between Cultures
Cultural differences have always been the research topic of my researchers because they knew they must be addressed if any organization wants to succeed in this globalized world CITATION Ray05 \l 1033 (Ness & Buff, 2005). As, competing internationally is not an easy job for any company. So, there is a need to understand different cultures and their values to successfully target the audience of that culture. Understanding cultural dimensions have become the most significant for every company, whether it wants to introduce any product or design any website for marketing purpose. For understanding the cross-cultural dimension Hofstede’s model of cultural dimension is very useful. It is the widely accepted and most frequently cited models that addressed cross-cultural issues outstandingly CITATION Bha82 \l 1033 (Bhagat & McQuaid, 1982).
After studying various cultures and their similarities and differences Hofstede gave five cultural dimensions that are useful to distinguish the behavior of different people of different cultures. It also helps in understanding and eliminate cross-cultural conflicts. Its five cultural dimensions are power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism/collectivism, masculinity/femininity and long-term versus short-term orientation CITATION Ger05 \l 1033 (Hofstede, 2005). In the first dimension that is low power distance versus high power distance Hofstede defines the extent to which power differentials are acceptable in the society. In large power distance society has autocratic leadership, centralized authority, inequalities and paternalistic management styles. On the other hand, in small power distance societies has decentralization, participative management, democratic structure and right consciousness. The second cultural dimension that is uncertainty avoidance describes the degree to which members of the society enable to cope up with the risky and difficult situation without experiencing the stress. The people of culture that are weak uncertainty avoidance, risk takers and flexible and on the other hand, in the culture where people have strong uncertainty avoidance are risk avoider, avoid changes and like written rules and regulation CITATION GHo80 \l 1033 (G.Hofstede, 1980).
Moreover, the third dimension is individualism and collectivism in which Hofstede has described to which degree the people of culture prefer to act as individual or like to work with in the group. People of individualist culture foster contractual relationship, focus on self and always value independence while in collectivist culture, people behave according to the norms of society, prefer collective behavior, conform group norms and certain favor in-groups like Chinese people ones self-esteem is tied to ones in-group (parents, siblings and friends) CITATION GHo11 \l 1033 (G.Hofstede, 2011). The fourth Hofstede cultural dimension is masculinity and femininity that describe the role of gender in the particular society like west gives more right to women than the east...
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