Arabic Web Design- What makes it so unique

arabic web design, With an entirely different set of layouts, color schemes, typography etc. these Arabic websites are written from right to the left.

Arabic Web Design- What makes it so unique

Arab has been primarily recognized by its luxury, sand, Islamic art, the very popular Ali Baba and the magic carpets. With a larger geographical expanse, the Arab world has the largest population of people who speak the Arabic language. With a majority of people speaking Arabic, even the websites designed in the Arab world are created in the Arabic language. With an entirely different set of layouts, color schemes, typography etc. these Arabic websites are written from right to the left. Today, through this post, I’ll be making an effort to familiarize you with the Arabic web design and how it has evolved into a remarkable marketing tool for the Arabic speaking market.

arabic web design

arabic web design

Arabic Web Design- Old Wine Served in New Bottle

Looking at the calligraphic designs of the Arabic websites, it would be easy to assume that the Arab web design space has become advanced since the recent years. But, the sad reality is that the super-rich script-based culture of the Arabic web design world has failed to keep pace with the ever-changing web design trends.

That means, the Arabic web designers are still engaged in serving the old fonts and layouts for ensuring beautiful typographical-oriented Arabic websites. Tahome is one of the most used fonts that’s available in Latin and Arabic language. With the typography still Latin-based and the design industry still very immature, Arab web design industry is quite optimistic about the launch of innovative browsing tools and advancements that would open doors to contemporary Arab-based websites.

And now, features that make Arabic Web Design unique?

RTL(Right-to-left) compatibility

Since the Arabic language includes reading from right to left, it often becomes complex for designers to design the Arabic websites for the digital world. With the need for flipping the entire web page horizontally, Arabic web design required extensive planning. Arabic web designers have been devising strategies for ensuring that the web designs don’t face any conflicts when the site needs to switch from LTR to RTL and vice-versa.

Built on the right platform

Arabic web designers opt for the right web design and development platform that supports both; internationalisation and localisation and includes ready made translation files such as: .po files. Drupal also comes equipped with a mechanism that can easily switch the site’s layout from left-to-right (LTR) to right-to-left(RTL) in a convenient way, without losing any shared data.

Flash still rules the web design aura

While there’s a good count of Arabic web designers who follow the CSS standards while designing websites for the Arabic-speaking population, there are some who still believe Flash to be the ruler when it comes to designing commercial as well as personalized websites. The graphics and animations incorporated via Flash programming are still impressing Arabic web designing professionals.

A greater focus on website standards and usability

While a majority of web designers across the globe are considering cost when it comes to designing a website, the web designers in the Arabic countries are still focused on ensuring 100% usability of the website they design. These designers believe that utmost usability and standards make a website worth-an-investment.

Arabesque and the wide range of calligraphy

One of the greatest features of Arabic web designs is Arabesque i.e. the effective repetition of forms of patterns. With the Arab world comprising of 25 countries and territories, a combined population of more than 358 million people, web designers are making continuous efforts to design websites that can be well understood and used by this wide population.

Specific images are selected for RTL and LTR versions of Arabic websites

Arabic web designers are very particular about designing websites that are easy-to-read both for the Arabic as well as the English-speaking people. Thus, these designers make use of specific images for both types of websites. All this is done to ensure that the website doesn’t lose its originality on being accessed in different countries across the world.

Seamless usage of HTML Prototypes

Clickable HTML prototype has been one of the major deliverables of Arabic websites. This particular aspect of Arab-oriented websites ensures that the designer can easily make any changes that are required for the site, enabling the stakeholders to view all the final site along with the respective changes. Moreover, with the inclusion of HTML/CSS designs, the Arabic web designers also ensure the “OK” status of websites for Alpha, Beta and Production phases. PatternLab is one of the most used and recommended prototyping tools for re-designing a majority of websites with an Arabic origin. This tool is based on the concept of creating pages using molecules, atoms, templates and organisms.

More mobile-friendly

Quite similar to different countries across the universe, even the Middle East has an impressive population of internet users who use their smartphones and tablets for accessing the World Wide Web. As per a recent research, it has been found that around 30-40 percent of Arabic internet users use their smartphones/tablets for accessing the web. Arabic web designers put special emphasis on designing websites that contain an intuitive user interface for the ease and convenience of internet users.

Facing the challenge of Arabic typesetting

A clean and legible site is equally important for both, Arabic as well as English population. While creating a multilingual site(one that works fine for both, Arabic as well as English-speaking people) the web designers put in their best efforts towards matching all the aesthetics so as to make the web pages look similar while the visitor chooses to switch from one site version to another. The fewer Arabic web fonts available in the web market make room for a greater amount of stress on the part of designer who needs to use web fonts that can work as the best fit for websites catered to the Arabic population.

Search Engine Marketing- How’s it in the Arabic world?

With the Arabic language being spoken in a majority of countries including Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Sudan, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Libya etc, web designing professionals put special emphasis on designing a website that’s optimized for all the search engines that are being accessed by people living in these countries. With Arabic search engine marketing growing at a rapid pace, designers decide on the main target countries prior to proceeding ahead with the design and development of an Arabic website. While it’s possible to have different Arabic websites for different countries, a majority of search engines focus on the countries that form crucial components of the Middle East. It is also interesting to note that a larger count of Arab businesses tend to appear in English or French languages, making it vital for the designer to build a website that’s competent in ranking high on the search engine results pages of search engines used by the English and French people.

Wrapping Up

With all that being said about Arab’s web design industry, it will be interesting to see how the industry evolves in the succeeding years. I’m sure after reading this post you’d have gathered great insights on designing Arabic websites. Irrespective of what business you deal with, if you’re staying in the Middle East and catering to the local customer base then the web design details covered above would definitely aid you in building the perfect website.




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