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The Effect of Culture on User Interface Design of Social Media - A Case Study on Preferences of Saudi Arabians on the Arabic User Interface of Facebook

Authors: Hana Almakky, Reza Sahandi, Jacqui Taylor


Social media continues to grow, and user interfaces may become more appealing if cultural characteristics are incorporated into their design. Facebook was designed in the west, and the original language was English. Subsequently, the words in the user interface were translated to other languages, including Arabic. Arabic words are written from right to left, and English is written from left to right. The translated version may misrepresent the original design and users’ preferences may be influenced by their culture, which should be considered in the user interface design. Previous research indicates that users are more comfortable when interacting with a user interface, which relates to their own culture. Therefore, this paper, using a survey, investigates the preferences of Saudi Arabians on the Arabic version of the user interface of Facebook.

Keywords: Social Media, Culture, Saudi Arabia, Facebook, User Interface Design

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