The role of cultural context in multilingual website usability

Mathew Hillier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


This paper draws evidence from the anthropological, worldviews and systems design literature, to show how culture and context play a significant role in the way people perceive and approach their interaction with a multilingual e-commerce website. In doing so, this paper shows that a relationship exists between language, cultural context and usability. The paper initially takes a look at the problems raised by the translation of text from one language to another and then moves onto an overview of the current practice of presenting multilingual web sites on the web. Next, the role of culture, through one's internal lens is examined. The impact this has on human computer interaction is then explored. Finally, a model is proposed that that aims to guide further research into the role of cultural context in the usability of multilingual websites. Some suggestions for further research are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-14
Number of pages13
JournalElectronic Commerce Research and Applications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2003
Externally publishedYes
EventContaining Special Section: Five Best Papers Selected from the - Hong Kong, China
Duration: 23 Oct 200225 Oct 2002


  • Context
  • Culture
  • E-commerce
  • Model
  • Multicultural
  • Usability
  • Website design

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