Semester of Graduation

Summer 2020


Master of Architecture (MArch)/Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Art and Design

Document Type



This study centers around localizing the user interface and experience design of digital products considering the culture of the audience and their visual heritage. Even though it seems the internet has made the distance between developing and advanced countries less than before, there are still fundamental differences between people’s beliefs and expectations. As a graphic designer who is based in The United States and is from Iran, I noticed the digital products (web, mobile applications) produced in Iran disregard the Iranian’s specific needs and emulate western patterns. So, I researched the dissimilarities between the two countries by using Greet Hofstede’s cultural model and its six dimensions. I also used previous studies to show how these indicators can be revealed on the user interface and experience design of a product. Based on the results and after careful investigations of the already existing apps in the market, I designed a Persian calendar application for Iranians inside and outside of the country (users of this app can be people from Afghanistan too). The user interface and experience design of this app implicate almost all of the cultural indicators of Iran such as high-power distance, collectivism, femininity, high uncertainty avoidance, and short-term orientation. Additionally, I aimed to retrieve Iran’s visual heritage by using it in a more modern, simple style in my app design. I was inspired by old Islamic astronomy and astrology books to create my design system and illustrations for the app. I intend to code the app and release it to the market as well as conducting more usability tests. This app is a successful example of localization and a replacement for the phones' default calendar app because of its comprehensive features including Persian and Gregorian dates, scheduling, list of holidays, praying times, date and time converter, setting reminders (e.g. birthday, auto payments, holidays), changing the language, and syncing with other calendars like Google and Outlook. These features are concluded by surveying the target audience through a questionnaire. Additional items were also developed to showcase and augment the design and usability of the app. These include a wall calendar, twelve postcards for each month, and buttons that users can order online through the application’s social pages like Instagram.

Committee Chair

Baggett, Lynne