Rationality or Aesthetics? Navigation vs. Web Page Ergonomics in Cross-cultural Use of University Websites

Research outputpeer-review


The article looks at one of the factors that may cast impact upon interest to educational programs of today’s universities in various regions of the world, namely at effective web presence of a university in the global information space. To successfully advance the university in the World Wide Web, efficient interaction with the global networked audience is necessary.

The quality of this interaction depends primarily on web design of the university portals, which are the main communication tool of any educational organization with potential studentship and professorship. However, for efficient communication with the audience in different regions of the world, it is necessary to take into account the peculiarities of visual culture peculiar to those regions. The paper suggests that the perception patterns of the Western audiences and people in South-East Asia can differ, which can affect communication efficiency for web portals with unified structures, adapted only in terms of language. In order to test this assumption, we carry out an experiment in which we compare the results of interaction experience of two representative groups of the global audience – students from Russia and from China – with 23 university portals around the world selected based on webometrics rankings. The results of the experiment show that, in the perception patterns of Western and Eastern users, there are differences in perception of information architecture and page layouts. In particular, perception of the representatives of South-East Asia is more sensitive to the composition and visual aesthetics of single web pages than to the rationality of the structure of the website as a whole. This result allowed the authors to propose recommendations for developing a strategy for promoting university brands on the Internet.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternet Science
Subtitle of host publication5th International Conference, INSCI 2018, St. Petersburg, Russia, October 24–26, 2018, Proceedings
EditorsSvetlana S. Bodrunova
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer Nature
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-01437-7
ISBN (Print)9783030014360
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameLecture Notes on Computer Science

Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

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