Designing for the Arab User

What you’ll read about in this article:

As a translator with +10 years of experience (English, Arabic, and Polish), as well as former startup employee responsible for FMCG product database development, I can’t help but notice an apparent underrepresentation of the Arab World when it comes to content and user-centered design. Interestingly, it doesn’t correspond to low internet penetration in the Middle East, when compared to the rest of the world. As of March 31st, 2017, there were nearly 142 million users in the region. It means that 57.4% of its inhabitants were online — in comparison to the world average of 49.2%(1).

At the same time, 60% of Arabs (and as many as 97% in Saudi Arabia and Egypt) declare that Arabic would be their language of choice when browsing or shopping online. Meanwhile, only 5% of global content is in that language (2):

What you’ll read about in this article:

As a translator with +10 years of experience (English, Arabic, and Polish), as well as former startup employee responsible for FMCG product database development, I can’t help but notice an apparent underrepresentation of the Arab World when it comes to content and user-centered design. Interestingly, it doesn’t correspond to low internet penetration in the Middle East, when compared to the rest of the world. As of March 31st, 2017, there were nearly 142 million users in the region. It means that 57.4% of its inhabitants were online — in comparison to the world average of 49.2%(1).

At the same time, 60% of Arabs (and as many as 97% in Saudi Arabia and Egypt) declare that Arabic would be their language of choice when browsing or shopping online. Meanwhile, only 5% of global content is in that language (2):

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