Degree Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2015

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Department

Art and Design

First Advisor

Paul Bruski

Abstract

Research on cross-national websites reveals that culture is an important factor in the characteristics of websites in different countries. This research examines websites of fast food chains and presents preliminary results describing their tendencies to differ between Taiwan and the U.S.

Hofstede’s five cultural dimensions and Hall’s two cultural dimensions were adopted as the basic cultural framework for comparing fast food chain websites in Taiwan and the U.S. Burger chains and chicken-based restaurant chains are the focus of this study, because those two categories commonly offer similar products. Three English-version fast-food chain websites from the U.S. and seven traditional Chinese website versions (including those for American, Japanese and Taiwanese fast-food brands) from Taiwan were selected. The examined Taiwanese fast-food chains’ websites are regarded as a whole population which includes all Taiwanese fast-food brands that have built a web presence. The homepage and one secondary page (menu/main product) of each website were examined.

The study examined whether and how cultural variables that characterize Taiwanese culture and U.S. culture are reflected in website designs. Slogans in Taiwanese fast food chains’ websites tend to use metaphors, which indicates that a literal text may have more than one meaning. Anthropomorphism and mascots, commonly used in Taiwan, are absent from U.S. fast food chains’ websites. This study includes creation of a set of infographics that examine visual communication rules and patterns of Taiwanese fast food chain websites, comparing and contrasting them to those of the U.S. These infographics aim to serve as a brief guide to website design for international businesses and designers.

Copyright Owner

Yin-Sin Chang

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

165 pages

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