Designing for diverse cultures

  • #1
honestrosewater
Gold Member
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I was just reading the http://developer.gnome.org/projects/gup/hig/" [Broken] closes with a list of some common things to avoid:
  • Pictures of flags or money
  • Maps showing political boundaries or contentious location names
  • Lists of countries or cities in non-alphabetical order (unless specifically requested or required by the context)
  • Icons depicting animals
  • Icons depicting only hands or feet
Does anyone know the reason behind the last one? Why and to whom might depicting only hands or feet be offensive or suggest something probably unintended? I can't think of anything.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
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As I understand it, Islam forbids any iconography (including images of Mohammed), which is why Moslem art and architecture is characterized by geometric designs and scrolls. That would account for the avoidance of animal icons, which is not what you asked, but I mention it because I think what's really being suggested is that designers should be sensitive to the Arabic culture.

Which brings me to your question. Arabs can be very offended by body language involving hands and especially feet in ways that might seem harmless to others. For instance, it is considered impolite to point the sole of your foot or shoe at another person. So just to be on the safe side, it might be best to avoid any depictions of hands or feet.

That's all I can think of.

(Of course, there are many non-Arab Moslems as well)
 
Last edited:
  • #3
honestrosewater
Gold Member
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Ah, right. That makes sense. I'll have to read more about that now. Thanks! :smile:
 
  • #4
wolram
Gold Member
4,267
557
Ah, right. That makes sense. I'll have to read more about that now. Thanks! :smile:
This thread is so wrong, why should some gesture be insufferable to one race,
and acceptable to another? are we as the (human race) so narrow minded,
if we can not call a spade a spade how the heck will we ever communicate without hostility.
 

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