Cultural Similarities and Differences in the Design of University Web sites



This study examines cultural differences and similarities in design of university Web sites using Hofstede’s model of cultural dimensions. Graphical elements on a sample of university home pages from Malaysia, Austria, the United States, Ecuador, Japan, Sweden, Greece and Denmark are compared using content analysis methods. The home pages were analyzed on the basis of two criteria: organization and graphical design. Element frequency scores were correlated with Hofstede’s indexes and interpreted on the basis of the existing literature. The results suggest that similarities and differences in Web site design can be brought out through Hofstede’s cultural model. Computed correlations between Hofstede’s scores and frequency counts of interface elements were weaker than anticipated, but in most cases occurred in the hypothesized direction.