Localization of Web Sites: Is there still a need for it?

In the light of the existing literature on the issue of cross-cultural interface design, we carried out a small-scale study in order to ascertain cultural differences in local web sites, specifically those of universities. Our hypotheses with regard to cross-cultural variation were based on Hofstedeā€™s theory [6]. Contrary to expectations, very little evidence of cultural differences in the interfaces of the web sites was reported. Subsequently, an online survey was conducted among webmasters of university web sites in an attempt to provide preliminary explanations for the unexpected findings. It seems that the Web has promoted the emergence of a cosmopolitan online culture, a hybrid culture overriding traditional cultural differences.
Publication Reference
Stengers H., De Troyer, O., Baetens M., Boers F., Mushtaha, A. : "Localization of Web Sites: Is there still a need for it?", International Workshop on Web Engineering (held in conjunction with the ACM HyperText 2004 Conference), Santa Cruz, USA (2004)