Website Design and Trust Across Cultures

  • Dianne Cyr
Part of the Human-Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


The number of world-wide Internet users is increasing at a dramatic rate and many of these users are online shoppers. It is important for online retailers to create a website environment where shoppers feel they can trust the vendor and where online risks are mitigated. However, relatively little is known as to how trust is established in online environments across cultures. To fill this gap, in this chapter information is presented concerning culture, website design and online trust. Data from studies conducted by the author with users in Canada, the U.S., Germany, Japan, and China are presented. In particular, cross-cultural comparisons are explored related to risk and vendor legitimacy, information privacy and quality, and transaction security. Additional results are presented as to how information design, navigation design and visual design are statistically related to trust. Numerous cross-cultural differences are discovered with respect to trust formation and risk and suggest that researchers, Web designers, and others take culture into account when designing for online consumers


Information Privacy Credit Card Uncertainty Avoidance Information Design Visual Design 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research is part of a project titled “Managing E-Loyalty through Design” funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant.


  1. Agarwal, R., Venkatesh, V.: Assessing a firm’s Web presence: a heuristic evaluation procedure for measurement of usability. Inform. Syst. Res. 13(2), 168–186 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Badre, A.N.: The effects of cross cultural interface design orientation on World Wide Web user performance. GVE Research Technical Reports. Retrieved 20 Apr 2004
  3. Barber, W., Badre, A. N.: Culturability: the merging of culture and usability. In: Proceedings of the 4th Conference on Human Factors and the Web, Basking Ridge (2001)Google Scholar
  4. Bhattacherjee, A.: Individual trust in online firms: scale development and initial test. J. Manage. Inform. Syst. 19(1), 211–241 (2002)Google Scholar
  5. Chen, S.C., Dhillon, G.S.: Interpreting dimensions of consumer trust in e-commerce. Inform. Technol. Manage. 4(2–3), 303–318 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Corritore, C.L., Kracher, B., Wiedenbeck, S.: Trust in the online environment. In: Smith, M.J., Salvenjy, G., Harris, D., Koubek, R.J. (eds.) Usability Evaluation and Interface Design: Cognitive Engineering. Intelligent Agents and Virtual Reality, pp. 1548–1552. Erlbaum, Mahway (2001)Google Scholar
  7. Cyr, D.: CreoScitex: the next step. In: Cyr, D., Dhaliwal, J., Persaud, A. (eds.) e-Business Innovation: Cases and Online Readings, pp. 164–173. Prentice-Hall, Toronto (2002)Google Scholar
  8. Cyr, D.: Modeling website design across cultures: relationships to trust, satisfaction and e-loyalty. J. Manage. Inform. Syst. 24(4), 47–72 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cyr, D., Bonanni, C.: Gender and website design in e-business. Int. J. Electron. Bus. 3(6), 565–582 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cyr, D.: Website design, trust, satisfaction and loyalty: a multiple country investigation. In: Proceedings for the Seventh Pre-ICIS HCI Research in MIS Workshop (HCI/MIS’08), Paris. Received Best Paper Award (2008b)Google Scholar
  11. Cyr, D., Trevor-Smith, H.: Localization of web design: an empirical comparison of German, Japanese, and U.S. website characteristics. J. Am. Soc. Inform. Sci. Technol. 55(13), 1199–1208 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cyr, D., Bonanni, C., Bowes, J., Ilsever, J.: Beyond trust: website design preferences across cultures. J. Global. Inform. Manage. 13(4), 24–52 (2005)Google Scholar
  13. Cyr, D., Hassanein, K., Head, M., Ivanov, A.: The role of social presence in establishing loyalty in e-service environments. Interact. Comput. 19(1), 43–56 (2007). Special Issue on “Moving Face-to-Face Communication to Web-based Communication”CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cyr, D., Head, J., Larios, H.: Colour appeal in website design within and across cultures: a multi-method evaluation. Int. J. Hum. Comput. Stud. 68(1–2), 1–21 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cyr, D., Head, M., Larios, H., Pan, B.: Exploring human images in website design: a multi-method approach. MIS Quart. 33(3), 530–556 (2009)Google Scholar
  16. Dawar, N., Parker, P., Price, L.: A cross-cultural study of interpersonal information exchange. J. Int. Bus. Stud. 27(3), 497–516 (1996). Third quarterCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. del Galdo, E., Neilson, J.: International User Interfaces. Wiley, New York (1996)Google Scholar
  18. DeWulf, K., Schillewaert, N., Muylle, S., Rangarajan, D.: The role of pleasure in web site success. Inform. Manage. 43, 434–446 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Doney, P.M., Cannon, J.P., Mullen, M.R.: Understanding the influence of national culture on the development of trust. Acad. Manage. Rev. 23(3), 601–620 (1998)Google Scholar
  20. Evers, V., Day, D.: The role of culture in interface acceptance. In: Howard, S., Hammond, J., Lindegaard, G. (eds.) Human Computer Interaction, INTERACT ’97. Chapman & Hall, London (1997)Google Scholar
  21. Ferle, C., Edwards, S., Mizuno, Y.: Internet diffusion in Japan: cultural consideration. J. Advert. Res. 22(2), 65–79 (2002). March-AprilGoogle Scholar
  22. Flavián, C., Guinalíu, M., Gurrea, R.: The role played by perceived usability, satisfaction and consumer trust on website loyalty. Inform. Manage. 43(1), 1–14 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fogg, B.J., Tseng, S.: Credibility and computing technology. Commun. ACM 14(5), 39–87 (1999)Google Scholar
  24. Fogg, B.J., Soohoo, C., Danielson, D.: How Do People Evaluate a Web Site’s Credibility? Results from a Larger Study. Persuasive Technology Lab, Stanford University, Stanford (2002)Google Scholar
  25. Garrett, J.J.: The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web. New Riders, Indianapolis/London (2003)Google Scholar
  26. Gefen, D.: E-commerce: the role of familiarity and trust. Omega Int. J. Manage. Sci. 28(6), 725–737 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gefen, D., Straub, D.W., Boudreau, M.C.: Structural equation modeling and regression: guidelines for research practice. Commun. AIS 4(7), 2–77 (2000)Google Scholar
  28. Gefen, D., Karahanna, E., Straub, D.W.: Trust and TAM in online shopping: an integrated model. MIS Quart. 27(1), 51–90 (2003)Google Scholar
  29. Gommans, M., Krishan, K.S., Scheddold, K.B.: From brand loyalty to e-loyalty: a conceptual framework. J. Econ. Soc. Res. 3(1), 43–58 (2001)Google Scholar
  30. Grabner-Krauter, S., Kaluscha, E.: Empirical research in online trust: a review and critical assessment. Int. J. Hum. Comput. Stud. 58, 783–812 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hoffman, D.L., Novak, T.P.: Marketing in hypermedia computer-mediated environments: conceptual foundations. J. Market. 60, 50–68 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hoffman, D.L., Novak, T.P., Peralta, M.A.: Building consumer trust online. Commun. ACM 42(4), 80–85 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hofstede, G.H.: Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values. Sage, Beverly Hills (1984)Google Scholar
  34. Inglehart, R., Basanez, M., Moreno, A.: Human Values and Beliefs: A Cross-Cultural Sourcebook. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor (1998)Google Scholar
  35. Internet Usage Statistics. Accessed 2 Nov 2009
  36. Jarvenpaa, S.L., Tractinsky, N., Saarinen, L., Vitale, M.: Consumer trust in an Internet store: a cross-cultural validation. J. Comput. Med. Commun. 5(2), Retrieved 20 Apr 2004
  37. Kang, K.S., Corbitt, B.: Effectiveness of graphical components in web site e-commerce application: a cultural perspective. Electron. J. Syst. Develop. Countries. Retrieved 20 Apr 2004
  38. Karvonen, K.: The beauty of simplicity. In: ACM Proceedings on the Conference on Universal Usability, pp. 85–90 (2000). Scholar
  39. Kim, Y.H., Son, J.: Trust, cooperation and social risk: a cross-cultural comparison. Kor. J. 38(Spring), 131–153 (1998)Google Scholar
  40. Koufaris, M.: Applying the technology acceptance model and flow theory to online consumer behavior. Inform. Syst. Res. 13(2), 205–223 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Marcus, A., Gould, E.W.: Cultural dimensions and global web user interface design. Interactions 7(4), 33–46 (2000). July/AugustCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. McKinney, V., Yoon, K., Zahedi, F.M.: The measurement of web-customer satisfaction: an expectation and disconfirmation approach. Inform. Syst. Res. 13(3), 296–315 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. McKnight, D.H., Cummings, L.L., Chervany, N.M.: Initial trust formation in new organizational relationships. Acad. Manage. Rev. 23(3), 473–490 (1998)Google Scholar
  44. McKnight, D.H., Choudhury, V.C., Kacmar, C.: Developing and validating trust measures for e-commerce: an integrative typology. Inform. Manage. Res. 13(3), 334–359 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Nielsen, J.: Designing for Web Usability. New Riders, Indianapolis (2001)Google Scholar
  46. Okayazaki, S., Rivas, J.A.: A content analysis of multinationals’ Web communication strategies: cross-cultural research framework and pre-testing. Internet Res. 12(5), 380–390 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Palmer, J.W., Bailey, J.P., Faraj, S., Smith, R.H.: The role of intermediaries in the development of trust on the WWW: the use and prominence of trusted third parties and privacy statements. J. Comput. Med. Commun. 5(3), On-line journal. At (2000)
  48. Parks, C.D., Vu, A.D.: Social dilemma behaviour of individuals from highly individualist and collectivist cultures. J. Conflict. Resolut. 38(4), 708–718 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Reichheld, F.F., Schefter, P.: E-loyalty: your secret weapon on the web. Harv. Bus. Rev. 78(4), 105–114 (2000)Google Scholar
  50. Rousseau, D.M., Sitkin, S.M., Burt, R.S., Camerer, C.: Not so different after all: a cross-discipline view of trust. Acad. Manage. Rev. 23(3), 393–404 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Simon, S.J.: The impact of culture and gender on web sites: an empirical study. Data Base Adv. Inform. Sy. 32(1), 18–37 (2001)Google Scholar
  52. Singh, N., Xhao, H., Hu, X.: Cultural adaptation on the Web: a study of American companies’ domestic and Chinese websites. J. Global. Inform. Manage. 11(3), 63–80 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Srite, M., Karahanna, E.: The role of espoused national cultural values in technology acceptance. MIS Quart. 30(3), 679–704 (2006)Google Scholar
  54. Sun, H.: Building a culturally-competent corporate web site: an explanatory study of cultural markers in multilingual web design. In: SIGDOC ’01, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, pp. 95–102, 21–24 Oct 2001Google Scholar
  55. Szymanski, D.A., Hise, R.T.: E-satisfaction: an initial examination. J. Retailing 76(3), 309–322 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Teltzrow, M., Kobsa, A.: Impacts of user privacy preferences on personalized systems: a comparative study. In: Karat, C.M., Blom, J., Karat, J. (eds.) Designing Personalized User Experiences in e-Commerce, pp. 315–332. Kluwer, Dordrecht (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Tian, R.G., Emery, C.: Cross-cultural issues in Internet marketing. J. Am. Acad. Bus. March, 217–224 (2002)Google Scholar
  58. Triandis, H.C.: Cross-cultural studies of individualism and collectivism. In: Berman, J.J. (ed.) Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, 37th edn, pp. 41–133. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln (1990)Google Scholar
  59. Weber, E.U., Hsee, C.: Cross-cultural differences in risk perception, but cross-cultural similarities in attitudes towards perceived risk. Manage. Sci. 44, 1205–1217 (1998)MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Yamagishi, T., Yamagishi, J.: Trust and commitment in the United States and Japan. Motiv. Emotion 18, 129–165 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Yoon, S.: The antecedents and consequences of trust in online-purchase decisions. J. Interact. Market. 16(2), 47–63 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beedie School of BusinessSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

Personalised recommendations