Effects of Cultural Cognitive Styles on Users' Evaluation of Website Complexity

The internationalization of websites requires compelling navigation experience for users from diverse cultures. This research investigates the effects of cultural cognitive styles on user perception of website complexity and the subsequent influence on user satisfaction towards the website. More specifically, the website complexity is examined along three dimensions: component, coordinative, and dynamic. Laboratory experiments involving participants from China and United States were used to test the hypotheses. The results showed that the effect of objective complexity on perceived complexity is contingent on cultural cognitive styles. People with holistic and analytic cultural cognitive styles display different perceptions of website complexity. This study extends website complexity literature to the cross-cultural context. It also suggests pragmatic strategies for website design practitioners to improve website design in order to attract international audiences.