SUMMARY AND RESPONSE: CONFUCIANISM AND WEB DESIGN

 

In the article Pleasure in Naming All the Parts of the Known in Their Expected Order: How Traditional Chinese Agrarian Culture Influences Modern Chinese Cyberspace Communication, Daniel D. Ding overviews the influences that the Confucian concept of naming has on the Chinese Web design, especially in terms of “verbal information”. According to Ding, Confucianism stresses the importance of correct naming—every object should have a “practicable” name that identifies the key characteristics of the object. Only if objects are named correct, each will attend to their own duties, so the society will be stable and harmonious. In modern China, Ding believes that the Confucianism still has important and powerful influences on Chinese people, which can be reflected in daily life. Chinese Web designers do not give a specific description of the process of performing a task. Instead, they only name the steps and believe people can understand how to do it correctly. The reason why the designers just name steps is, in Ding’s opinion, China is in high-context culture. Chinese people have “a high degree of sensitivity to context [and] relationships [among individual events]”.

I partly agree with Ding. According to my own experiences, I do find that in Chinese websites, it is more likely to only get information about the names of the things that are needed, rather than instructions that lead people to perform step by step. Sometimes, it causes me trouble because I am not sure if I do the right steps. However, things have changed. Some Chinese Web Designers put practicability in the first place when they design the websites. We can easily find the websites more practicable. To be honest, I have never heard the influence that Confucianism had on the web design before I read this article. I do not think Confucianism has such important influence on Chinese website design.

 

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