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Cross-Cultural Web Design and Education: A Comparison Between Arab Universities and US Universities Based on Hofstede Cultural Dimensions


Mohamed Benaida


Vol. 18  No. 10  pp. 91-99


There have been many studies in the last few years which have conducted the link between culture and web design. A few of the studies which were undertaken specifically focused on the effect of culture on educational websites, however very few have studied the differences between Arabic culture and Western culture and the effect each culture has on educational websites. The main objective of this paper is to overlay the differences between two cultures and examine the impact of culture based on Hofstede cultural dimensions on educational websites. For a conclusion to be made, the investigation must include three university websites from the two different areas in the world selected, which have a significant difference in culture according to Hofstede’s dimension culture. The universities that were chosen in this investigation are from the USA and Arab countries which include Harvard University, Stanford University and Columbia University, the universities from the Arab world includes Cairo University, Algiers University I and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. The results show that Arab university websites are more concerned about the amount of information that the website holds and the number of images it contains even if the images are of small sizes, unlike the English university websites which contain less images but larger in dimensions. The experts found themselves more comfortable surfing the Arab university websites due to the images barely containing any women. This is due to the masculinity of this culture, unlike the American culture which accepts women on images. This opposes Hofstedes’ findings that the masculinity in the USA is higher than the masculinity in the Arab culture. The Arabic culture has more collectivism and uncertainty than the American culture the Arabic culture is also short-term orientated compared to the American culture which is long-term orientated.


Culture, Hofstede, Web design, Education