Location of navigation menus in websites: an experimental study with Arabic users

Ladislao Salmerón*, Reem Abu Mallouh, Yvonne Kammerer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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While Arabic users represent by far the fastest growing language population on the Internet, research about how the peculiarities of Arabic language may shape users’ web interactions is still scarce. The preferences of Arabic users for menu location in websites have been studied. Two competing arguments have been proposed regarding the best location of menus in websites: conventional design (navigation menu should be placed on that side where users expect it based on previous experience) and reading direction (navigation menu should be placed on that side where readers are used to start off reading, so that the navigation menu is likely to be attended first). In an experiment, twenty-five participants with Arabic as mother language (who also spoke English) were briefly presented with screenshots from websites presented in Arabic or English and with menus located either on the left or the right, and rated their perceived visual appeal, usability, and trustworthiness. Results showed that participants judged the Arabic websites more positive when menus were located in the right- rather than in the left-hand side. In contrast, no differences for menu location were observed for English websites. These results are discussed in light of the conventional design and reading direction hypothesis and with regard to their implications for the design of Arabic websites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-196
Number of pages6
JournalUniversal Access in the Information Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Website design
  • Menu location
  • Arabic Internet users


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