Cross-Cultural Understanding of the Dual Structure of Metaphorical Icons: An Explorative Study with French and Turkish Users on an E-Learning Site

  • Kerem Rızvanoğlu
  • Özgürol Öztürk
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5623)


Research on the cross-cultural understanding of different interface aspects is an area of growing interest in human-computer interaction discipline. This paper mainly investigates the influence of culture on understanding metaphors in graphical user interfaces. Considering the dual coded structure of compound metaphorical icons which is composed of two major units: image and label, this study evaluates the main hypothesis that understanding of graphical and textual elements of the metaphors differs due to the real world and language experiences of the users. An empirical study on a French e-learning site -based on a spatial “Campus” metaphor- was conducted with 68 Turkish and French students. The study applied a multi-method approach including data collection instruments like questionnaires for understanding of metaphorical icons and interview. Findings do suggest differences in understanding across the two cultural groups and provide an in-depth analysis on the process of cross-cultural understanding of metaphors by focusing on the metaphorical inconsistencies.


Metaphor icon culture understanding user interfaces 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kerem Rızvanoğlu
    • 1
  • Özgürol Öztürk
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of CommunicationGalatasaray UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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