By default whenever we think about a website, the layout is always imagined to be carried with a western structure. However, it’s rare to see anyone cater to an Arabic audience on the same website. There are a few crucial details designers must look into while the design is in process in order to make sure each challenge is tackled correctly. In this article, we have listed how the design process works and what you can do to ensure a clean design.
The process is usually the same for all designs and seems to fit in the normal routine for an experienced designer. However, it does require an extra effort from the designer in terms of adaptation and implementation to new changes.
According to research, the Arabic language happens to rank at 4th place in the list of the world’s most common languages. However, the language in itself represents a structure that is entirely different from any other language, especially Western ones. For this specific reason, it is important to take into account all the particular features of this language in order to embed it flawlessly within the design of the mobile or web app.
The first thing that causes your visitors to run away from your page is anything that makes them feel an immense amount of frustration, confusion, and dissatisfaction. The most common reason that leads to this is when they face difficulties in understanding the content on your website. If the language is not easy to understand, then your users most definitely will feel uneasy as it has a direct impact on their perceived usability of any interface.
Be it the titles, listings in your menus, or even the product description; the language is what will be the breaking point for the user when deciding if they wish to stay or leave the site.
Think of Arabic to be a rather more expressive language compared to English. They tend to use more words to describe things. In English, we can communicate our point within a few words, whereas in Arabic it might even take a sentence or two.
It’s no secret that people want things to be described to them in the most easiest and concise way possible. No one has the time to scan through the content to find the exact information they’re looking for. They want things to be as straightforward as possible. Why? Because they know what they want, and they want nothing else but to get it done fast.
Translating your content to Arabic also might not be the best technique also because most of the time some words or phrases used in English don’t have an accurate translation in Arabic. This creates problems not only in reading but also meddles with the overall design’s visual appearance.
Of course, Arab users will prefer websites and applications that are accurately translated and easily available in Arabic. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. This is why when it comes to the search functionality on your website it is necessary to opt for both English and Arabic. This will make it easier to search for things and make the results far more accurate than they will be in just one language.
For example, sometimes users want to search for a specific brand or product name that isn’t familiar with the language. To avoid inconvenience it is better to provide the users with multiple languages in the search so that they can easily find what they’re looking for.
Whilst creating any website, the first thing any designer is to work on is the visual presentation of it. With the Arabic language comes a great challenge, which is the mirror design.
The obvious issue here indicates the use of the Right to Left (RTL) layout to improve the overall usability of the site. This applies to not only the text, but also to the other aspects of the layout such as images, icons, font type, and size, etc.
Since the language is written right to left, each element must be aligned to the right-hand side in a decent manner to represent an actual reflection of the English website. By default, an Arab user will begin to scan the website from the top right corner and make their way down the site. They are bound to pay attention to every detail as they skim through the website observing the content, titles, headings, and subheadings to find the part which is relevant to what they are searching for.
If you are familiar with the saying “every picture is worth a thousand words”, then this concept may not be so difficult for you to grasp and embed into your website.
Web design is mostly all about visual art and the message you can send through it. Even in places where you aren’t using words, the visuals incorporated should stand as a representation of the message you wish to send. The correct usage of images can easily boost your conversion rate, promote your brand and what it stands for, or simply act as an appealing element to the final look of your design.
This means you need to be extra careful about the kind of image you use. Using any old image of your product while expecting to enhance the user’s experience is highly unrealistic. Also, you have to keep in mind the difference in cultural and social norms and how they might affect the perception of your choice of images.
There are many effective steps you can take to ensure a perfect website design that is friendly to Arab users. By incorporating these into your design you can successfully create a website that has a layout that can be helpful to them rather than increase their frustration whilst surfing the web.