You might have heard of personalized search options, personalized features for user’s privacy, personalized notifications or personalized chat options for the app users.

But have you heard of personalized web design as per the culture of different countries?

Yes, a typical Human-Centered Web Design that fills all the void.

Or have you come across the personalized cross-cultural web design of any multinational company?

Nay? Yay? Or Umm?

Let us clear out your guesswork with McDonald’s cross-cultural web design guide.

Any startup wanting to internationalize or even a money-making business flourished in the home country is always tempted to expand its reach to the new locations.

Simply switching the currencies or translating language or re-formatting a few fields on the website is not sufficient for any business to expand geographically.

As it is always said ‘It takes two to tango’.

Considering the cultural influences in the app design goes hand in hand with the basic formatting for internationalizing a website.

‘From being right or kind, let the web design choose to be kinder to the app users.’

And a recent survey shows 67% of the global app users are highly satisfied with the culturally adaptive UI (user interface).

Countrywise localizing an application can be the best way to combat the challenges of cultural diversity.

Because…..

The ecosystem of consumers in different countries are very unique. It is based on:

  • What makes them trust the website?
  • What can catch their attention?
  • How they go about searching for information?
  • What are the triggering points of converting them from a visitor to a customer?
  • What do they consider relevant in a website?   

Present day web designs literally need to touch the local culture to get those 2 million app users to experience the offered product/services.

Well! There are also a few entrepreneurs who try to take a shortcut out of this. 

They think of having one universal UI/UX design that suits all the cultures across different countries. But that’s a wrong move.

Just as the business has to make its product range to adapt to different cultures. No matter how weirdest flavors or odd product combinations they have to deal with.

For instance, a cheese pizza flavored M&M candies…. Anyone?. hahaha  

Same goes with the cross-cultural web design to adapt to the cultures…..

There are chances that a web design works magic in China or Korea but seem to be very gaudy for the Canadian audience who love the minimalist look of the web layouts.    

The companies now need to rethink the app layouts for different cultures INDIVIDUALLY.  

Considering this, it’s so very critical to understand the cross-cultural elements in the web designs.  

Elements that impact the Cross-Cultural Web Design:


Cultural difference across the world

In the world of web designs, culture is a medley of language, color, time, behaviors, attitude, values, belief, traditions and even the way of orientation.

Each and every process of web designing critically depends on the cross-cultural elements.  

Have you come across any cross-cultural web design that has interesting examples, the real-time case of a well-known company and easy to understand explanation of the topics?

Nope?

Well then! You will love to go through the following cross-cultural web design guide.  

Let’s start with some of the real examples of elements in cross-cultural web design:   

Color and Culture
______________

Let’s talk about the color being one of the sensitive design tools.

For example,

Red color represents love, danger, and passion in western countries, while red color stands for purity in India.

The red color symbolizes good luck in China. But in Africa, it resembles death or mourn.  

This is how the app designers and the company need to consider the impact of color in varied markets while making a cross-cultural web design.

Style matters  
______________

For example, the Japanese people majorly use the flip-style smartphones that are easy to text or type with one hand while computing.

A mobile-friendly app design having simplified layouts for all the navigations in the app should work miracles to easily captivate the Japanese audience.

But the reverse is the case with the Americans.

They prefer to text with both the hands and increasingly use broad keypad style smartphones like the Blackberry phones. This can also observe a highly involved nature of Americans in whatever they do.

So a detail-oriented or informative web design can prove to be apt to lead the American market. Be it a high-definition HD picture for the product display or banner images that speak out the gist of the webpage.    

A picture paints a thousand words
______________

For instance,

Images, icons or a logo involving ‘V’ sign symbolize peace in some countries while few cultures also consider it offensive. Same is the case with the icon of an open palm or a thumbs up.

Cultural aspects matter the most especially for:

  • The logo placement in a website
  • Designing a search bar
  • Using the visuals  
  • The way of presenting and sharing contact details in a website

It is vital for entrepreneurs to take the UI/UX of the website as a ‘long-sustaining chess game’ rather than taking it as a ‘temporary checkers game’ while creating a cross-cultural web design.

Today, personalizing web designs for each culture of every country in which the business is expanded has become one of the chief must-haves.

For this, there exists a globally recognized and a standard theory to analyze the cultural differences that have helped many businesses to outshine internationally. 

Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Theory:


Hofstede Theory for Cross-Cultural Dimensions

Performing exhaustive research in the 1970s, Dr. Hofstede (Psychologist) came up with the genuine elements of culture that can be scaled and rated for a comparison.

This theory helps to understand the way people from different cultures and countries interact based on these six cultural dimensions outlined below:

  1. Power Distance
  2. Individualism versus Collectivism
  3. Masculinity versus Femininity
  4. Long-term versus Short term orientation
  5. Uncertainty avoidance index
  6. Indulgence versus Restraint

How do these dimensions help my website to get the cross-cultural User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI)?
Or
Has any company implemented these dimensions in their cross-cultural web design?

All these relatable questions are finally explained and answered in this cross-cultural web design guide.  

Let’s explore one of the most interesting and famous case studies of McDonald’s website designs specifically personalized for every country culture.

It will clear out all your question marks regarding cross-cultural web design development.

Want to know your country’s score for the 6 Hofstede dimensions??

Get each country’s Hofstede Cultural Dimension Values

Download PDF

Case Study: McDonald’s Globalization + Localization

In all seriousness, McDonald’s has focused on Hofstede’s cultural dimensions.

For each dimension, we will go through the design elements of McDonald’s national websites and its homepage designs.  

1. Power Distance


Power Distance is the degree to which the customers or people accept the inequalities among individuals based on the power (authority, control or influence).

  • A high power distance means a high level of acceptance of the unequal distribution of power.
  • A low power distance refers to the less acceptance level of unequal distribution of power with a constant try to equal out the gap of power distance.
Low Power DistanceHigh Power Distance
 McDonald’s Dutch Website McDonald’s Chinese Website
Dutch vs China Cross-Cultural Web Design

McDonald’s Dutch Website

McDonald’s Dutch website has a sophisticated and detailed yet urbane design.

McDonald serves them with easy-to-navigate rich information about the products, outlet locations, and about ingredients quality.  

The homepage also spotlights the workings in McDonald’s.

This is because,

Dutch people don’t like to be controlled. They prefer to make their own purchase decisions based on the detailed information they get to see from the websites.

This design has a neat and informative structure with options to experience the technical resources of McDonald’s, happy meals, get double cheesy or make it veggie options.  

McDonald’s share the right and precise details with the visitors which easily develop trust among the Dutch people.

McDonald’s Chinese Website

McDonald’s Chinese website has a commercial and colorful design.

The web design is focused on the tempting pictures and visuals of products on the homepage.  

Chinese people readily accept the inequalities in authoritative powers. They trust and want the company to decide the products to be chosen for them.  

So, McDonald’s website has kept only a few essential navigations on the homepage.

More of the combo-meals and product pictures in the homepage help the app users to make the purchase decisions much speedier.

Of Course not missing out on a few essential pieces of information, the top navigations are related to all about McDonald’s and the nutritional quality of products along with the delicious menu options.  

McDonald’s Chinese web design makes it easy for the audience to quickly choose from the offered menu.

2. Individualism v/s Collectivism


  • The degree to which customers focus on themselves is Individualism. The ‘I’, ‘Myself’ and ‘Self-caring’ mentality.
  • The degree to which the customers focus on a group at large is Collectivism. The ‘We’ and ‘Caregiving’ mentality.
IndividualismCollectivism
McDonald’s US WebsiteMcDonald’s Turkey website
USA vs Turkey Cross-Cultural Web Design

McDonald’s US Website

The US website of McDonald’s has a sophisticated look with self-fulfillment attributes in its design.

The people in the US majorly shop from the websites with their own interest, their own decision, and their own targets.  

Considering this, McDonald’s US website has many specific details that help the individual to effortlessly make a choice from the offerings.

Some of which are:

‘Bacon meets our classics’,

‘See what’s trending now’,

‘See our current deals’

‘Our food experts’

This helps the user to interact with the website individualistically.

McDonald’s Turkey website

Well! The McDonald’s Turkey website is more social and has a lot of references and recommendation for all age groups.

Turkey people are open to trying out the popular or common things that are recommended by the company or other customers.

The design smartly spotlights the ‘perfect coffee pleasure’, and ‘happy meals for families’ that the visitors can try out.

It also focuses on the McDonald’s community and links the social media tools on the homepage.

Also, the pictures in the top slider of the homepage are designed to guide the visitors about- how to order, what’s new in the product range and even easy browsing for to the campaigns conducted by McDonald’s.

The design smartly reflects the reference point for all the app users to try out different dishes from the list of expertise.

3. Masculinity v/s Femininity


  • Masculinity driven society has all the traits of competitiveness, courage, passion, heroism, materialism, aggression, and assertiveness.
  •  Femininity driven society has all the traits of sensitivity, compassion, nurturance, empathy, quality of living, caring, and modesty.
MasculinityFemininity
McDonald’s Saudi Arabia WebsiteMcDonald’s Norway Website
Saudi Arabia vs Norway Cross-Cultural Web Design

McDonald’s Saudi Arabia Website

The Saudi Arabian website of McDonald’s is designed with all critical revealings about the company.

Saudi Arabians have high expectations for every purchase they make. These expectations make them discover the intricate details about -what, how and from where.

Accordingly, McDonald’s website reveals a lot of company details through the ‘your right to know’ on the top navigation.

Questions related to the McDonald’s traceability, quality of products, Does any products contain nuts?, Does the McVeggie has eggs in it? or treating the employees, the product calories and much more topics for the visitors are nicely structured and answered.      

The design is pretty straightforward for visitors to explore honest and upfront insights about McDonald’s in Saudi Arabia.

For this, the homepage has a specific category called ‘About our food’, ‘Open door- our kitchen your kitchen’, and ‘Workings at McDonald’s.

McDonald’s is all prepared to face the crucial evaluation by the visitors.

McDonald’s Norway Website

McDonald’s Norwegian website is full of pep with a carefree impression.

The joyous colors and the veggie images are engaging and even entertaining for the app visitors.

The people of Norway are much concerned about enjoying the positive experience on the website and let go of the minor flaws.

They like the companies to be open for suggestions, questions, and feedback.

With this, the website has ‘Give us your feedback’ at the top slider in the homepage.

Also, the McDonald’s Norwegian website has the ‘Find Us’ in the top navigation. The ‘Find Us’ page help the visitors to search the outlets through their current location and other options like ‘drive-thru’, ‘Playland’, ‘birthday party’ and ‘Wifi’.

This is how McDonald’s gives a positive experience full of nurturance to the Norway audience.

4. Long-term v/s Short-term


  • The people with a short term orientation believe in traditions and give more weight to the principles related to religions or their nation. They live for the present and do not bother about the future.
  • While the country citizens with long term orientation are flexible and open for change in traditions and principles that majorly depend on the time, situation or context. They plan out long term goals.   
Short Term OrientationLong Term Orientation
McDonald’s Germany WebsiteMcDonald’s Hong Kong Website
Germany vs Hong Kong Cross-Cultural Web Design

The German Website of McDonald’s

On the homepage of McDonald’s German website, there are shortcuts designed for the visitors which help them to make a quick purchase decision.

The German people get more captivated to something familiar that can also derive speedy results.

So McDonald’s designed a clean and to-the-point homepage relatable to the German traditions.

This homepage has easy and familiar top navigations for the products, McCafe, quality, delivery services, about McDonald’s and franchise.

The overall web design is grounded on family values, professionalism, and shortcut buttons.

McDonald’s Hong Kong Website

The Hong Kong website of McDonald’s has a very convincing and informed design.

People of Hong Kong are detail oriented and make purchase decisions based on long term perspectives.

McDonald’s do not have the design strategy to convince the customers for immediate buying.  

Instead, McDonald’s serves the long term benefits of their products to the customer’s lifestyle.

For this, McDonald’s has an entire section of ‘Learn more about McDonald’s food’ which focuses more on the balanced diet with the McDonald’s products.

Also, the top navigations are placed horizontally in most of the McDonald’s websites.

But the Hong Kong website ease out the visitors detailing, especially when McDonald’s has a lot many essential details to showcase on the top navigations of the homepage.

They crafted the web design with vertically positioned top navigations making it easy to locate exact information the visitors are looking for.  

5. Uncertainty Avoidance Index


Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) refers to how people deal with the uncertainties and how the society adapts to the fact that situations are not under their control.

  • The society with high UAI believes in their understandings and rigidly considers only what they know. They are strict followers of orthodox culture.
  • The people with low UAI are open to adopting change and are flexible enough to trust new trends.
High Uncertainty Avoidance IndexLow Uncertainty Avoidance Index
Russia Website of McDonald’sIndian website of McDonald’s
Russia vs India Cross-Cultural Web Design

Russia Website of McDonald’s

The McDonald’s Russian website is designed with classy and familiar impressions on the homepage.

It features thorough top navigation for the sections related to the quality, menu recommendations for the parents and children, lunch deals, breakfast menu, and McCafe.

Russians like to celebrate the age-old culture of appreciating the nice doings and renowned days.

McDonald’s highlights its homepage with the calendar dates for the ‘McHappie Day’, ‘McDonald’s help Russians save money’

Or even for appointing the CEO for McDonald’s in Russia.

This makes it possible for Mcdonald’s to connect and stick to the Russian principles through its down-right sincere web design.

Indian website of McDonald’s

McDonald’s Indian website has a colorful and happening design.

The design has a swag of trending products with spicy and tangy options for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

Lots of new varieties and new deals are displayed through a much slicker content slider that also reflects the reasonable pricing structure with a highlight of ‘baap ke zamaneke daam’.

One more unique top navigation is given for the ‘Farm to Fork’ that lands visitors to the HD image of a fresh green farm and spotlights the food safety at McDonald’s.  

As Indians like to try out new dishes and most of them have sweet tooth, McDonald’s designed a Dessert Kiosks in their Indian website that exclusively offers dessert varieties.   

This design reflects how McDonald’s made sure to satisfy visitor demands for a different and unique taste in food products.

6. Indulgence v/s Restraint


  • The society with a high IVR score encourages and welcome free gratification of emotions. Like emotions of enjoying, happy, fun, loving and caring.
  • People with low IVR score keeps the behavior, regulations, conduct, and emotions under control.
High Indulgence v/s Restraint scoreLow Indulgence v/s Restraint score
Canadian Website of McDonald’s Ukraine website of McDonald’s
Canada vs Ukraine Cross-Cultural Web Design

Canadian Website of McDonald’s

McDonald’s Canadian website is designed with a playful, incentive driven and harmonious layout.

The people in Canada focus on personal and community happiness and look for something latest.

The top homepage slider displays new things to try every week, mobile rewards, and best deals for the customers.

One unique way of engaging the Canadian audience is the ‘McDonald’s Card’ that makes it easy for customers to treat themselves and their loved ones.

The website has smart navigations related to the ‘recipes for families’ and the ‘charity stories’.

Also, the top main navigations land the visitors to the food quality, latest deals, and McDonald’s community.

Through its sweet and sensitive web design, McDonald’s touches the emotions of the Canadians.

Ukraine website of McDonald’s

The Ukraine website of McDonald’s is designed with all the traits required to make the audience trust the McDonald’s.

The Ukrainians strictly follow their values and principles. They also trust the ones who contribute to developing their home country (Ukraine).

Keeping this in mind, the McDonald’s has included ‘about McDonalds’ and ‘quality of products’ as the top navigations on the homepage. This helps the visitors to check whether the products suffice to their values or principles.    

The play section on the website displays the McDonald’s certification and even has rewards for people of all age groups. McDonald’s has included the toys, books, birthday rewards for the Ukrainians that easily develop a connection with the audience.

Above all, the website allows the visitors to bring forward the Q&A, and give feedback.

Highlighting the Social Programs conducted by McDonald’s helped to create a trust factor among the Ukrainians.  

Want to know about other Brands who have different layouts for different countries?

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TRooTech helps to gracefully internationalize your business through cross-cultural web design 

To personalize the web design for every culture that your business targets at, the company needs to brainstorm every single angle of cultural attributes before creating a cross-cultural web design.

The entrepreneurs have to put themselves in the shoes of end-users to design solutions not just websites. And by end-users, we mean an audience with different cultures. 

This is how through the cross-cultural web design, the entrepreneurs can bridge the gap between the business and exact customer’s preferences to strongly internationalize the brand online.

Also, it requires to not keep a single design aspect forsaken to be tested.  

Be it a screen resolution, UI elements, themes, color combinations, multitouch or single touch, long or short press, same, responsive web design elements, and the list goes on for the app design diagnosis.

Would you like to give cross-cultural web design a try or get some assistance for the same?

Any questions jumping in your mind about cross-cultural web design development?

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