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Title: Cultural impacts on web : an empirical comparison of interactivity in websites of South Korea and the United Kingdom
Author: Kim, Inhwa
ISNI:       0000 0004 2738 4497
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis explores cultural differences on interactive design features used in websites of South Korea and the United Kingdom from the perspective of both: professional website designers and end-users. It also investigates how the use of interactive design features from different cultures change over time. Four interaction types on websites; User to Interface (U2I), User to Content (U2C), User to Provider (U2P), and User to User (U2U) interactivity, and three interaction types on blogs; Blogger to Interface (B2I), Blogger to Content (B2C) and Blogger to Blogger (B2B) interactivity have been identified. Four cultural dimensions were used for the theoretical base of this study based on which four hypotheses were proposed in relation to the interaction types identified above; (a) High versus Low Context cultures for U2I, (b) High versus Low Uncertainty Avoidance for U2C, (c) High versus Low Power Distance for U2P and (d) Individualism versus Collectivism for U2U interactivity, in order to discover the effects of national cultures on interactivity in websites. We derived our own interactivity dimensions and mapped them to the four interaction types for websites and three for blogs. Interactive design features were derived from interactivity dimensions and examined in our studies. The findings revealed that there have been some changes towards homogeneity in the use of interactive design features on charity websites between South Korea and United Kingdom although there is still evidence of some cultural differences. With regard to end-users’ perspective, the result show that the use of interactive design features of blogs may be influenced by culture but this is only within a certain context. The findings also provide a valuable indication that users interacting within the same blog service can be considered as being shared concerns rather than shared national location, thus create a particular type of community in which bloggers are affected by social influence so they adopt a shared set of value, preferences and style that would indicate almost a common social culture. As a result, the cultural differences derived from their country of origin do not have that much impact.
Supervisor: Kuljis, J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cross cultural webside design ; Cultural differences in interactivity of south korea and the U.K. ; Interactive design features of charity websites and blogs ; Longitudinal study