Tag: usability

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User Experience Takeaways: Still Hungry for Localization Change

Blogos, Localization Culture, Personalization and Design, Translation

Readers of MultiLingual magazine will know about the “Takeaway” section towards the back of the publication. It’s a kind of bully pulpit-meets-12 Step meeting “burning desire” platform, along the lines of U.S. public radio station KQED’s Perspectives program.

I have written a few MultiLingual “Takeaways”, and made other contributions, on user experience-related topics that frankly do my head in: Why the Globalization, Internationalization, Localization, and Translation (GILT) industry appears to run scared of user experience, or indeed are user experience and the GILT worlds even compatible in terms of coming up with a common language they should be trying to speak, for example.

Head. Stone wall. Bashing head off.

Maybe.

So, I am delighted to say that someone, namely Lynne Bowker of the University of Ottawa, Canada, has been paying attention to my words. Lynne has researched and written a paper published in Localisation Focus called “Translatability and User eXperience: Compatible or in Conflict?”, citing my MultiLingual sources, amongst others!

Localisation Focus: Localization and User Experience: Are they Compatible?

Localisation Focus:  Lynne Bowker explores translatability and user experience. Are they compatible?

Lynne has also spoken about the subject at various events. Watch out for other places where this hot topic might surface and join in the debate!

Nice.

I am always delighted to cause trouble inspire others to take an argument further for the benefit of the community. The whole point of “Takeaway” really.

Thank you, Lynne.

And, if you have an idea for the “Takeaway” section of MultiLingual, contact the editor.

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Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally.

Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.

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Going Native: Chinese Mobile UX

Localization Culture, Personalization and Design

Shout out for a great article by Dan Grover (@dangrover), writing about Chinese mobile app user interface trends.

Chinese Mobile App UI Trends. Image via Dan Grover.

Chinese Mobile App UI Trends. Image via Dan Grover.

Dan relocated from San Francisco to China, and used this move to document and share some great insights into Chinese user experience that are invaluable for localization too.

Check out the examples. I love the sections on how discovery is the new hamburger menu and how chat is a universal UI in its own right.

And you thought QR codes were dead?

In keeping with the inspiration for the article, it is now available in Chinese too:  中国移动应用设计趋势解读

Let’s see more articles like this!

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Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally.

Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.

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Icons: Global UX Considerations Revisited and Translators without Borders

Localization Culture, Personalization and Design

I previously raised the issue of how context of use influences our perceptions of icons, and how globalization “best practices” and guidance about icons and graphics that we read on the web sometimes discounts context to the detriment of user experience.

One great example is the use of the Facebook Like icon.

Facebook 'Like' Button. A Thumbs Up to Global Cultural Design Considerations?

Facebook ‘Like’ Button. A Thumbs Up to Global Cultural Design Considerations?

Usually, we would be told to run a mile from body parts like this from a global design perspective, although the use of a thumbs up or thumbs down icon is frequently encountered in social media applications to indicate positive or negative user reactions to a subject.

Now, research from the Oracle Applications User Experience team, presented at the Oracle Usability Advisory Board meeting in Europe recently, confirms that use of the thumbs up and down icon, and some emotions (smileys to indicate happy or sad emotions) not traditionally associated with enterprise applications design, is acceptable to the vast majority of users, worldwide.

The pervasive, global use of the Internet and social media applications (Facebook in particular I would guess) and the nature of work and enterprise applications use (English as a language of business, globalization and outsourcing of work, multilingual operations, less distinction between personal and work life and technology, and so on) have influenced this acceptance.

You can probably think of other icons that might now be acceptable in places that a few years ago would not have been. Find the comments…

That said, the message from the research is clear: Don’t make assumptions about users or global markets. Research and test with real users in real situations doing real tasks. And do it again… and again… and again…. in real target markets, globally. It’s not hard.

On a related note, I love these clean water icons by way of the Noun Project (@nounproject).

Latrine clean water icon from The Noun Project Iconathon.

Latrine clean water icon from The Noun Project Iconathon. Image referenced from Flickr.

An excellent example of iconic context of use, they remind us of the importance of being able to clearly communicate development-related and health-critical information to those who need it, and volunteering where you can to make life better for everyone.

On that point, why not do something extra nice for Christmas, or the season that’s in it if you prefer, and support the Translators without Borders program.

Happy Christmas all!

Update (18-Oct-2013): The research informing the findings on the “Like” icon and others is now published as a chapter in a book on human-computer interaction (HCI).

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Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally.

Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.

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Designing for the multilingual web: WikiMedia

Localization Culture, Personalization and Design

Love this post from the WikiMedia folks: Designing for the Multilingual Web. Great information of the importance of global  user experience considerations and cores methodology to bring an efficient, effective, and satisfying UX to life: wireframing (mockups), prototypes, and user testing.

Loved the tool recommendations too! I’ll try those too!

 

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Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally.

Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.

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Translation and UX Working Together: Oracle Mobile Applications Example

Language Industry News and Events, Localization Culture, Personalization and Design

I’ve previously written a takeaway article for Multilingual decrying the lack of a clear user experience (UX) focus to the general globalization, internationalization, localization and translation industry. I’ll be revisiting this subject in the magazine later this year. Have things changed? Why is it important anyway? Well, you’ll have to read it to find out!

But here is one great example of translation and UX professionals working together in a win-win situation. Pleased to say that I was the one to initiate this (humility Ultan, please) co-operation. The Oracle Applications Mobile User Experience team and the Oracle Worldwide Product Translation Group (WPTG) language specialists recently worked together on ethnographic research into mobile workers in Europe (Sweden in this case).

Brent White of the Oracle  Mobile UX team takes notes as ethnography participant Capri Norrman uses mobile technology to work in Stockholm.

Brent White of the Oracle Mobile UX team takes notes as ethnography participant Capri Norrman uses mobile technology to work in Stockholm. Pic credit: Oracle Applications UX. The Oracle UX team acknowledges Capri's kind permission to use this image.

The UX side benefitted from the local language specialist’s language, market insight and cultural knowledge and WPTG benefitted from advance knowledge of our design thinking and direction so that translation effort resources and materials can be readied in advance.

So, true context of use for everyone up front.

You can read more about this global co-operation on my Oracle Not Lost in Translation blog.

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Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally.

Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.

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Thumbs Up to International Design Considerations?

Localization Culture, Personalization and Design

I’ve been reading Designing Social Interfaces by Christian Crumlish and Erin Malone. It’s a fine book written by two respected experts and provides more than 100 user experience design patterns, principles and best practices to use when designing social websites. Recommended!

Facebook Like Button. A Thumbs Up to Global Cultural Design Considerations?

Facebook 'Like' Button. A Thumbs Up to Global Cultural Design Considerations?

I was drawn to the “international considerations” section for the Thumbs Up/Down Ratings pattern. This pattern, it says, might present issues for some countries or locales, because:

  • Raised thumbs can be problematic in some cultures. Users may not understand the symbolism, or worse, the gesture may even be offensive.
  • There are cultures that don’t see things in binary terms as a thumbs up or thumbs down response, and may prefer some nuance that’s in between, and less absolute.
  • Some cultures may not like to criticize openly, or maybe only a thumbs-up option is best.

All a bit vague really in terms of identifying cultures might have issues, don’t you think? Plus, I am immediately prompted to ask: what is Facebook doing in such countries or regions? In Thailand, for example?

Plus, I am not sure if such culturally-based recommendations are always as black and white (oh, the irony) as claimed,  given the nature of internet technology, globalization, and especially without any knowledge of the user and context of use. The only way to find out is to do some usability testing, taking into account context of use.

That said, it’s always great to see international considerations included in UX design guidance, and we do with more!

The comments are open if you agree or disagree.

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Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally.

Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.

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