User interface guidelines for Tablet PC Arabic educational applications
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This research was motivated by a strong demand to improve user interfaces (UIs) for the Arabic language. Educational applications and tablet PCs were focused on, and the designers and developers of Arabic UIs were targeted. We propose a systematic approach to develop comprehensive Arabic UI guidelines for tablet PC. The UI guidelines were developed through five main stages. In the first stage, the gap in existing knowledge was identified. In the second stage, designers and developers from Jordan identified issues in relation to UI design for Arabic-language applications. Key components for UI guidelines were also identified. In the third stage, the UI preferences and design principles were collected from Jordanian young people. In the fourth stage, initial guidelines for the Arabic UI were formulated, informed by the literature and the results of the previous stages. The guidelines were refined and verified with designers and developers from Jordan in the final stage. The research work contributes a set of guidelines, a process for creating those guidelines, and a tool called the Arabic Visual Interface Design (AVID) that facilitates users to experiment with their UI preferences. We hope this research will inspire the Arabic UI practitioners and academic in this field. Initial responses indicate that the guidelines will assist software companies to improve their productivity and to enhance their UIs for Arabic mobile and tablet PC applications in educational settings. It is hoped that this work will encourage Arabic UI designers to design more suitable educational applications in tablet PCs for Arabic users. It is also envisaged that the process of creating the guidelines and the AVID system will serve as a guide for others wishing to improve their UI designs for other applications and devices.