Barber & Badre (1998). Culturability: The merging of culture and usability.

Barber, W., & Badre, A. (1998). Culturability: The merging of culture and usability. Presented at the Conference on Human Factors and the Web, Basking Ridge, New Jersey: AT&T Labs. Retrieved from

“… cultural markers can directly impact user performance, hence the merging of culture and usability.” (¶1)

“Cultural markers are interface design elements and features that are prevalent, and possibly preferred, within a particular cultural group. … a conventionalized use …” (¶5)

[In a way, this study works in reverse. It assumes that the cultural markers manifest themselves adequately in the interface without establishing the degree to which existing cultural markers (in traditional art, literature, communications, etc) might be transferable to the web. The web itself is a cultural artifact, it is not culturally neutral. — oki]

“We hypothesize that sites in the country of origin’s native language will depict cultural markers more specific to that particular culture, whereas a site in a non-native language will be more influenced by outside cultural markers.” (¶13)

“Cultural markers are design elements found in web pages, and such elements become cultural markers when they prove to be highly prevalent within a particular cultural group and less prevalent or absent in other groups.” (¶15)

“The intent is not to develop a generic Global Interface to be accepted by all cultures participating in this medium, but to suggest that cultural markers can be manipulated to facilitate international interactions.” (¶22)

See this page at