App Development for the Arabic Market: Specificity

Always keep in mind your target audience when creating a product. The main goal is to create maximum comfort for users interacting with your app. In this article we are going to talk about specificity of app development for the Arabic market.

While developing apps for the Arabic market, consider the unique mentality and specificity of Arabic countries because the interface for Arab users is different. (Example of an Arab interface, may be with an European interface)

The Main Rule of Arabic Interface

Users of Arab market read right to left not left to right like Americans and Europeans do. This rule must be considered when developing an app for the Arabic Market because otherwise it won’t be comfortable for Arabic users to read the text and use the app.

Arab people are used to getting their information right to left. All the buttons, pics, videos — the whole interface — has to be displayed right to left. For example, the “okay” and “cancel” buttons have to switch places because the user has to see the “okay” button before the “cancel” button.

Usually, Arab users don’t prefer left to right interfaces because they aren’t used to them. However, an interface that is created specifically for the Arabic market would be hard to understand for Europeans and others who aren’t used to getting information right to left.

Localization

While developing apps for the Arabic market, some people don’t pay enough attention to localization. If they have a left to right version of the site and they have to create a right to left version, they make a mirror version of a left to right product and put in the Arabic content. However, they forget that buttons are mirrored and some visual aspects do not look proper. For example, the logo has to change places with search, And this kind of changes got to be considered.

Let’s compare how iOS and Android work with localization.

iOS settings in Arabic and in English :

As you see, nothing except of language has changed.

Android Arabic and English settings:

Android has changed a lot compared to the UI in English. It even changed the direction of switches. Good work on localization, Android!

Green Color in Arabic Culture

For example, when developing an app for the Arabic market the creator has to consider the fact that the color green is sacred in Islam. The whole UI for the app must be developed keeping this fact in mind. Using the color green to indicate some negative things in an app or game for Arabic users isn’t a good idea.

Arabic culture is derived from three key factors: family, language and religion. It is super important to pay attention to these factors.The product and every feature has to respect families, language, and religion of users. This is why jokes on mentioned themes can abuse users and make them delete your product. Every color or button has to be proved by the research, so in this case it is better to pay too much attention than to miss something.

Check Your Competitors

Developers also must do competitor analysis to know your competitors and to check what good ideas have been implemented into their apps (check competitors on the top of the Appstore). What features aren’t required in your product or have to be changed? Are you able to see, for example, that two top apps have one or two similar special functions that other apps from your sphere don’t have. This means that proper implementation of that feature is a must to achieve success on the app store, but don’t do hard copying. Try to keep your own unique style.

Do Research

Finally, do a lot of research if app development for the Arabic market is of interest to you. Research everything, pay a lot of attention to detail, and make quality products. And don’t forget the “right to left” rule!

Written by: Artem Fedin on April 28, 2015.


Originally published at 111 Minutes Blog.

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