A Cross-cultural Study Of Icons And Images Used In North American Web Design
Free (open access)
E. Knight, C. Gunawardena, F. Bouachrine, N. Dassanayake, T. Gnanakumar & C. Kulasuriya
This paper reports the results of a study which examined differences in perceptions of the meaning of icons and images drawn from US academic web sites. To provide a cross-cultural perspective, the study was conducted in the USA at the University of New Mexico; in Morocco at Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane; and in Nawala, Nugegoda at the Open University of Sri Lanka. A questionnaire containing 18 icons and images drawn from 26 US academic websites was distributed via the Internet. Participants were asked to assign meanings to each icon or image and to select a preferred image to represent group discussion online, Internet chat, submitting an assignment online, and accessing a library. In addition, participants were asked to choose from three images of professors which they would prefer to take a course from and why. Differences in the interpretation of meanings and preferences for specific icons and images are related to the cultural perspectives of the participants. Implications and recommendations for the design of icons and images for use in cross-cultural online learning environments are discussed. Keywords: web design, design of icons and images, multimedia design, online learning environments, cultural differences, cross-cultural design.
web design, design of icons and images, multimedia design, online learning environments, cultural differences, cross-cultural design.