Kummer, Tyge-F., Recker, Jan C. ORCID: 0000-0002-2072-5792 and Mendling, Jan ORCID: 0000-0002-7260-524X (2016). Enhancing understandability of process models through cultural-dependent color adjustments. Decision Support Systems, 87. pp. 1-12. Amsterdam: Elsevier. ISSN 1872-7530

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Link to the document: https://eprints.qut.edu.au/96256/


National culture influences natural language communication. Yet, semi-formal or documented communication media such as process models have largely ignored these influences. In process models, secondary notation elements such as colors, however, provides designers with visual cues to potentially increase the efficiency and effectiveness without changing the semantics of the model itself. We propose that colors are a promising mechanism in tailoring process models to meet cultural preferences in order to enhance understandability. We test this assumption through an experiment with postgraduate students from a Confucian culture (China) and a Germanic Culture (Germany and Austria). Past research has shown that people understand such models better if important elements are highlighted through colors. We hypothesize that this general design principle only works if the applied color schemes match cultural preferences while mismatches can even diminish the level of understanding. Our results show that colors that are preferred in Asian cultures aid process model understandability of Confucian participants. In contrast, diverse effects occur if models with these colors are provided to members of a Germanic culture. Based on our findings, we derive implications for the culturally appropriate presentation of conceptual process models and we emphasize a need to construct modeling studies with cultural values and norms in mind.

Item Type: Journal Article
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Recker, Jan C.UNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0002-2072-5792UNSPECIFIED
Mendling, JanUNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0002-7260-524XUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-87318
DOI: 10.1016/j.dss.2016.04.004
Journal or Publication Title: Decision Support Systems
Volume: 87
Page Range: pp. 1-12
Date: July 2016
Publisher: Elsevier
Place of Publication: Amsterdam
ISSN: 1872-7530
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Management, Economy and Social Sciences
Divisions: Weitere Institute, Arbeits- und Forschungsgruppen > Cologne Institute for Information Systems (CIIS)
Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences > Business Administration > Information Systems > Chair for Information Systems and Systems Development
Subjects: Data processing Computer science
Management and auxiliary services
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Process modelingEnglish
Secondary notationEnglish
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/8731


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