Designing a website: Cultural differences to take into consideration

With the accessibility of the internet all over the world, website developers have to be keen on how they structure their websites. Not only must they try and make it simple and understandable by each race and culture but taking note on the differences in beliefs is an important thing to handle. With the world today equality is a very sensitive issue that must be handled with the care that it deserves.
When it comes to the making of a website there are several steps that the developer should take before launching the website on the internet. Website development mainly includes three steps.

1. Planning.

This is the most important step since it where you make the major decisions. In this step you consider issues like the main purpose for launching the site, the target audience, what to include in the site, budgeting, outlay of the site, how to market the site and finally the copywriters to hire.

2. Creating the website

The second step is the actual making of the site. This is the simple step for website developers. The other options are to install a WordPress blog or to use a one-stop-shop service (like it is provided by the hosting company 1&1) so you can create and host your website at the exact same place.

3. Launching the site

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Factors to consider on cultural differences when designing a website

Cultural difference is one of the key areas to consider when it comes to online marketing and the creation of a website. Some of the cultural differences that you should take note of are;

Language

Not every person speaks the same language but English is widely recognized. If the website is planned to address a larger audience choosing English will be the better choice. For example a website created in Spanish will not cover a large audience in the same manner as an English based website. Knowing the language of the targeted visitors will generate larger audiences.

Gender or sexual preferences

When addressing issues on your website being vigilant on gender equality is a must. Another sensitive issue is relationships. The website developer should know the nature of the targeted audience relationships. For example the issue of same sex marriage is a topic of discussion in the world today. Each and every person has his or her own opinion on same sex marriages so the developer should be careful when addressing such issues.

Symbols and other coded meanings

Some symbols may have different meanings in some cultures. This is not a sensitive issue to handle but if the programmer knows that a certain symbol or sign may have an offending meaning to others it would be best not to use it in the site.

Level of literacy

Using simple vocabulary will ensure that more readers understand the material unless the website is based for other purposes. An example is that for the case of a medical site the use of medical terms will be appropriate but if it is a marketing site it is not advisable.

Religion

Taking note of the audiences’ religion tends to help the programmer know what contents to involve in the site. Do not use content that may offend a certain religion.

Age

Base the website content with accordance to the expected visitors’ age. Be sure to notify the audience of the content of the material especially in the case that it is not suitable for young minds. Other cultural factors to consider include the method of leadership, the living standards and the family chain of command. The programmer should always use content that will not offend any of his audiences. Some audiences can go to the level of suing the website owner if they feel offended by the content material. Avoid these lawsuits by being vigilant with what the website contains.

 

picture: ©Ricktop – Fotolia.com

Founder Of LineshJose.Com, coder, thinker, geek, music addict also design and build awesome softwares for living.

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