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The Effect of Culture on Usability: Comparing the Perceptions and Performance of Taiwanese and North American MP3 Player Users

Steve Wallace and Hsiao-Cheng Yu

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 4, Issue 3, May 2009, pp. 136-146

Article Contents

Comparing Correlations Between Usability Factors Across Cultures

This study also examines the correlations between usability factors within each culture. Tables 5 and 6 show moderate to strong, statistically significant (p < 0.05) correlations between usability factors for North American and Taiwanese users. Weak correlations, an absence of correlation, or statistically insignificant correlations (p >= 0.05) are not shown in these tables. Because the sample size for each culture group is roughly half that of the total sample size, there are fewer statistically significant observations available.

There are marked differences in the correlations observed in each culture group. For example, the number of errors is clearly correlated with user perceptions in both groups. For the Taiwanese, the number of errors is correlated with perceptions of efficiency. This is in contrast to North American users for whom the number of errors was strongly correlated with lower levels of satisfaction. Unfortunately, because these correlations are for different sets of variables, these correlations cannot be compared.

In fact, the correlation between overall usability and efficiency is the only correlation found in both culture groups. For Taiwanese users there are moderate to strong correlations between perceptions of effectiveness, efficiency, and user satisfaction. These values were also strongly correlated with overall usability. For North American users however, only a moderate correlation between perceptions of efficiency and overall usability was observed. However, we cannot say with a 95% confidence level that the correlation between perceived efficiency and total perceived usability is statistically different between cultures.

In short, no statistically significant comparisons of correlations can be made between these two user groups. Because of this the hypothesis that there is no difference between usability correlations for Taiwanese and North American users still stands.

Table 5. Correlations Between Usability Factors for North American Users
  No. Errors Efficiency
Total Perceived Usability   0.578*
Satisfaction -0.730**  

* = p < 0.05
** = p < 0.01

Table 6. Correlations Between Usability Factors for Taiwanese Users
  No. Errors Efficiency Efficiency Satisfaction
Total Perceived Usability   0.814** 0.877** 0.906***
Satisfaction   0.824** 0.641*  
Efficiency -0.672*      

* = p < 0.05
** = p < 0.01
*** = p < 0.001

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