Cultural and Linguistic Variables in Usability Testing

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Ouellet, Joanie




Canada is a country where more than 1 in 5 are immigrants. While industries and public services in the country interact with a diversity of users, it is unclear if the cultural and linguistic background of their users can influence their perceived usability. We conducted a usability test of the website of Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada to explore cultural and linguistic variables during usability testing, by using cultural dimensions, global English proficiency index and personality test. Our results show that the dimensions of Individualism, Time orientation, Power distance, and Uncertainty avoidance do influence participants' answers. We found that Indian participants were more comfortable with the website's English level while Chinese and Nigerians criticized it more. This thesis concludes that to assure the consistency, reliability and reproducibility of research results and protocols, researchers should recruit participants from multiple cultural and linguistic backgrounds to gather a general ideation of the usability.


Cultural Anthropology




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

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Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Human-Computer Interaction

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Theses and Dissertations

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