Culture in the design of mHealth UI: An effort to increase acceptance among culturally specific groups

Ahmed Housni Alsswey, Hosam Al-Samarraie, Fuad Ali El-Qirem, Ahmed Ibrahim Alzahrani, Osama Alfarraj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
406 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Designers of mobile applications have long understood the importance of users’ preferences in making the user experience easier, convenient and therefore valuable. The cultural aspects of groups of users are among the key features of users’ design preferences, because each group’s preferences depend on various features that are culturally compatible. The process of integrating culture into the design of a system has always been an important ingredient for effective and interactive human computer interface. This study aims to investigate the design of a mobile health (mHealth) application user interface (UI) based on Arabic culture. It was argued that integrating certain cultural values of specific groups of users into the design of UI would increase their acceptance of the technology. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 135 users responded to an online survey about their acceptance of a culturally designed mHealth. Findings: The findings showed that culturally based language, colours, layout and images had a significant relationship with users’ behavioural intention to use the culturally based mHealth UI. Research limitations/implications: First, the sample and the data collected of this study were restricted to Arab users and Arab culture; therefore, the results cannot be generalized to other cultures and users. Second, the adapted unified theory of acceptance and use of technology model was used in this study instead of the new version, which may expose new perceptions. Third, the cultural aspects of UI design in this study were limited to the images, colours, language and layout. Practical implications: It encourages UI designers to implement the relevant cultural aspects while developing mobile applications. Originality/value: Embedding Arab cultural aspects in designing UI for mobile applications to satisfy Arab users and enhance their acceptance toward using mobile applications, which will reflect positively on their lives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-272
Number of pages16
JournalElectronic Library
Issue number2
Early online date27 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2020

Bibliographical note

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Research Group no. RG-1438-062


  • Culture
  • Mobile health applications
  • Technology acceptance
  • UI/UX
  • User interfaces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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