The influence on language proficiency on web site usage with bilingual users

William G. HAYWARD, Kwok-Kit TONG

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsConference paper (refereed)Referred Conference Paper


In this study, we examine Chinese-English bilinguals' performance at completing tasks on web sites with identical Chinese and English versions. Participants were required to perform two tasks with each web site, and the time necessary for completing the tasks was recorded. Despite participants' competency with English, tasks that were completed in Chinese were performed more quickly, and participants judged that they were easier. Crucially, this advantage for Chinese web sites was not simply due to a reduced fluency with English; when English comprehension ability was included as a covariate, performance on the Chinese web sites remained superior to the English sites. We argue that the choice of language for a web site should not simply be due to a threshold of competency among users, but instead should reflect users' preferences for their native language.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUsability evaluation and interface design : Cognitive engineering, intelligent agents and virtual reality. Vol. 1 of the Proceedings of HCI International 2001
EditorsMichael J. SMITH, Gavriel SALVENDY, Don HARRIS, Richard J. KOUBEK
Place of PublicationMahwah, N.J.
PublisherLawrence Erlbaum Associates
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9780805836073
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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