Right-to-Left Website Development: Аdvice on design

RTL website example

Localization,Guest Posting the process of adapting a website to a particular locale, is essential for any interface, even if only a small amount of content is there. As different locales and different language groups have various features, developers must take into account these differences when creating a website. Some of these features may be difficult to understand, especially without the help of a native speaker. These features are particularly evident when it comes to designing and developing websites for the Middle Eastern market.

Demand for the creation of right-to-left (RTL) websites has grown over the years due to the fact that Arabic is the 4th most popular language globally. According to Arab Media Outlook, 60% of Arabic speakers prefer browsing internet content in Arabic. The lack of currently available content in Arabic and the existing need for this content among users is sure to continue this growth.

We’ve already taken a closer look at the peculiarities of developing RTL websites for the Arabic market in a recent blog post. In this post, we’ll be focusing our attention on some distinguishing features of RTL design.

What is a RTL website?
The creation of web services and localization of already existing products for the Middle Eastern market is stipulated by certain features that can differ vastly from English (left-to-right) websites. The set of rules and design solutions used for LTR websites are of little value when developing websites for an Arabic RTL audience. This is because RTL websites require a different structure, typography, and imagery. At first glance, it might seem like an Arabic website is just a mirrored copy of an English one. However, it can involve a lot of effort to make a page with mirrored content appear properly on a screen.

SteelKiwi has already developed a number of RTL projects and we will be sharing our experience, including potential problems and solutions, below.

Writing and visuals
The main and most obvious difference between LTR and RTL languages is seen in the direction of writing. In RTL languages, writing and reading is done from right to left. This directional change affects the structure of the website, as well as typography, icons, and images.

To design an RTL project, we use a principle that seems simple at first. We flip or mirror every piece of content, with a few key exceptions. To understand what to mirror and what to change entirely, it’s important to imagine the motion of time which flows from right to left in Arabic. For example, a list of icons that displays a specific sequence should start from the right side on an RTL website.

With the help of some basic rules, designing an Arabic website can be fairly straightforward. However, when multilingual platforms are involved, it’s crucial to plan out the architecture of the projects properly in order to avoid language conflicts when switching from LTR to RTL languages.

When beginning work on this type of project, developers should spend time designing both LTR and RTL versions since each of these is equally important for a successful end result.Read more – RTL design

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