The E-Cultural Adaption Framework (E-CAF)
: adapting the local travel interface for Egyptian consumers

  • Wegdan Hagag

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Although the Internet has become a global medium, which companies use to access individuals worldwide, it is argued in this thesis that cultural issues still need to be taken into account when designing Web sites. In fact, international marketers agree that culture in terms of consumers‘ values and beliefs remains a significant constraint for reaching international consumers. Professional analysts and designers generally agree that well-designed user interfaces improve the performance and appeal of the Web and help in reaching large numbers of consumers across cultures. Therefore, one way of improving the user-interface is by paying attention to users' culture, which means developing culturally adapted Web sites.

The Web localisation literature addresses the users' ultural concerns by utilising some of the popular cultural models like those of Hofstede and Hall; however these tools are not appropriate for handling the cultural values affecting the online behaviour of consumers. Effective Web localisation can be achieved through an appropriate cultural framework that incorporates the cultural values that affect the online behaviour of consumers. This thesis introduces the electronic cultural adaption framework or E-CAF, as a structure for adapting local Web interfaces. The E-CAF, constructed for the travel domain, uses six cultural dimensions derived from the observation of behaviour and identifies unique cultural variables that affect online consumer behaviour.

The E-CAF is constructed using grounded theory methodology and is then evaluated as a tool for adapting local Web interfaces. This includes discussing the applicability of the E-CAF as a tool for identifying online marketing strategies suitable for targeting consumers across cultures and using the E-CAF to assess and evaluate the cultural adaptation of three Egyptian local travel interfaces. Finally, the E-CAF is utilized as a means for developing questions that can help designers to collect the clients' designing requirements. This helps the designers to build an effective local interface based on an understanding of each client‘s special design requirements.
Date of Award2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorColin Wheeler (Supervisor), Lillian Clark (Supervisor) & Paul Trott (Supervisor)

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