Towards Usability Guidelines for the Design of Effective Arabic Websites: Design Practices and Lessons Focusing on Font and Image usage

11/05/2020
by   Abdallah Namoun, et al.
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The Arabic websites constitute 1 million viewers and 41 design guidelines related to the selection and use of appropriate font type and size and images in Arabic websites. Both text and images are vital multimedia components of websites and thereby were selected for investigation in this study. The herein paper performed an indepth inspection of font and image design practices within 73 most visited Arabic websites in Saudi Arabia according to Alexa Internet ranking in the first quarter of 2019. Our exhaustive analysis showed discrepancies between the international design recommendations and the actual design of Arabic websites. There was a considerable variation and inconsistency in using font types and sizes between and within the Arabic websites. Arabic Droid Kufi was used mostly for styling page titles and navigation menus, whilst Tahoma was used for styling paragraphs. The font size of the Arabic text ranged from 12 to 16 pixels, which may lead to poor readability. Images were used heavily in the Arabic websites causing prolonged site loading times. Moreover, the images strongly reflected the dimensions of the Saudi culture, especially collectivism and masculinity. Current Arabic web design practices are compared against the findings from past studies about international designs and lessons aiming at ameliorating the Arabic web design are inferred.

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