The internationalization of Web sites requires Web designers to provide effective navigation experience for users from diverse cultural backgrounds. This research investigates the effect of cultural cognitive style on user perception of Web site structure characteristics and performance on the Web site, and the subsequent user satisfaction towards the Web site. More specifically, the authors focus on the breadth versus depth of a Web site's structure. A laboratory experiment involving participants from China and the United States was conducted to test the hypotheses. The results showed that cultural cognitive style and Web site structure indeed interact to affect user perception and performance. People with holistic and analytic cultural cognitive styles displayed different perceived navigability and user performance on "broad" and "deep" Web sites. This study adds a cultural dimension to our knowledge on how Web site structure can affect users' experience. It also suggests pragmatic strategies for Web site design practitioners to improve website design in order to produce compelling navigation experience for users from diverse cultures.
Cui, T., Wang, X. & Teo, H. (2015). Building a culturally-competent web site: a cross-cultural analysis of web site structure. Journal of Global Information Management, 23 (4), 1-25.