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Culture Design of Information Architecture for
B2C E-Commerce Websites

Wan Abdul Rahim Wan Mohd. Isa, Nor Laila Md. Noor, and Shafie Mehad

Department of System Sciences, Faculty of Information Technology and
Quantitative Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM),
40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia

wrahim2@gmail.com, {norlaila,shafie}@tmsk.uitm.edu.my

Abstract. Culture is widelytreated as an essential factor for the success of
e-commerce, yet the concept itself is still clouded in bewilderment. Furthermore,
there has been little research on usage behavior in the context of developing
countries; e.g., Islamic countries. By using Islamic culture as the case study,
this study highlights the website information architecture practical design indication
and reports thepartial analysis of the investigation on how culture design
of information architecture (IA) for B2C e-commerce website will has a positive
affect to the user performance tasks (browsing, searching and purchasing
books activities). Analyses of one-way between-groups multivariate analysis of
variance (one-way MANOVA) and paired-samples t-test were performed. The
result showed that the task timeperformance of the Middle East and the Malaysian
users are different and faster when using the culture centred e-commerce
website. Thus, provides empirical evidence on the positive influence of culturally
design website to performance.

Keywords: Website Information Architecture, Culture Centred Website, Muslim
Online User, Islamic Culture.

1 Introduction

The relevance of culturalissues to the design of global human-computer systems [22]
necessitates website designers to have a thorough understandings of the cultural constraints
in usage behavior. However, there has been little research on usage behavior
in the context of developing countries such as from Islamic countries. This lack of
understanding of the cultural issues that are unique to that country also contributes tothe large scale diffusion for e-commerce in developing countries [12] [29]. This may
also partially explain the lacking of research or priorities given for Islamic websites

[24] from Arabic or Islamic countries on user interface and website IA in the online
environment.
The number of Muslim users are steadily growing and this growth has provided the
opportunities for rapid diffusion ofe-commerce due to the nature of the environment
and culture. In 2002, United Nations Conference on Trade Development reported that
the Arab e-commerce market value was expected to grow to five billion dollars by
2005, with Saudi Arabia and Egypt as the major players [11]. As Middle East region

M. Kurosu (Ed.): Human Centered Design, HCII 2009, LNCS 5619, pp. 805–814, 2009.
© Springer-VerlagBerlin Heidelberg 2009

806 W.M.I. Wan Abdul Rahim, M.N. Nor Laila, and M. Shafie

predominantly associated to Islam, this expected growth has provides the motivation
for this study to investigate the usage behavior of Muslims in culture-centred
e-commerce website towards creating a better understanding on Muslims behavior.
However, culture remains difficult to study even to HCI practicesand there are still
many unsolved problems concerning the extent to which culture may affect the usability
[22].

This study will also highlights practical guideline and empirical evidence on the
positive influence of culturally adapted design to user performance. The understanding
and results put forward by this study may be useful for those who want to reach
out to Muslim users. The paperis organized as follow. The next section provides the
literature review of the current studies related to e-commerce and culture. This section
will also highlight an analytical framework on the adaptation of the cultural values on
the website IA design by using Islamic culture as the case study. Then, the method
used in this study is described and the results are reported, which is followed...
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