Internationalization Issues at Interaction Designers

29 Nov 2003 - 8:28am
787 reads
Chris Peters

As some of you may know, some of our international list participants
have been working together on the i18n list. Until recently the work has
mainly consisted of translating the pages of the web site. In the
future, as Interaction Designer moves into the international arena, the
role of this group will become prominent. Below is the working draft for
the goals of this group and a list of planned short term achievements.

I would also like to invite everyone:
* To comment on this draft
* To subscribe to the i18n list, especially international

Chris Peters

i18n Working Draft

i18n is the international branch of Interaction Designers, in order for
it to succeed, there has to be a two way communication between the two:
* On the one hand, i18n is should be responsible for executing
the ideas of Interaction Designer internationally, and tailored to local
conditions in various areas of the world.
* On the other hand, i18n is a valuable source of information
and ideas that could benefit the whole Interaction Designer community

In terms of organization, in the long run, it seems logical to have
semi-independent local organizations. However before we can start
building these local organizations, the Interaction Designers
organization itself will have to be build, so this is definitely
something for the future (say six months or so).

Local organizations should be local initiatives, under the
responsibility of local Interaction Design participants. Therefore
anyone who wants to take the initiative should be given the opportunity
to set up a local organization. Such local organizations will of course
work within Interaction Designers and should further the goals of
Interaction Designers. Interaction Designer should help local branches
to plan their activities, monitor progress and facilitate where possible
but also guard the interest and the realization of our common
Interaction Designers goals.

The four goals of Interaction Designer hold for i18n as well. In fact
our main task is to realize these goals locally. To sum them up:
* Evangelism: Promote the value of interaction design to our
employers, colleagues, and clients.
* Consumer Education: Teach end-users that any difficulty they
have in using a product is a reflection of the product's design, not of
their abilities.
* Community Building: Develop a community of professionals with
whom we closely identify, and who can assist in our development.
* Profession and Professional Development: Establish formal
academic grounding for interaction design.

The other important goal; is to make Interaction Designers an
international organization which caters for the needs of interaction
designers around the globe and translates what works in the US to local
conditions, including:
* Catering for cultural differences
* Adapting to the maturity of the Interaction Design profession in
various countries
* Adapting to the way things are done locally

Short term accomplishments (6 months or so)
* Defining the goals and strategy for i18n in detail
* Together with the Steering Committee and List Participants
determine which goals have the highest priority for the organization as
a whole
* Determine a strategy to realize these goals internationally
* Setting up a working i18n organization and making people
responsible for local activities
* Divide the world in areas / countries and give people who
volunteer the opportunity to set up local chapters in close
collaboration with Interaction Designers.
* Invite international List Participants to volunteer to do work
for i18n and interaction designers
* Promote Interaction Designers among peers
* Get onto local mailing lists and other forums to promote
membership and participation in the Interaction Designer's efforts.
* Email friends and colleagues to sign up.
* Promote Interaction Design to the industry
* Promote awareness of the benefits of Interaction Design to the
industry in various countries.
* Send out press releases to the local industry media.
* Invite local industry thought leaders to become ambassadors and
help promote Interaction Design(ers).
* Promote Interaction Design with end users
* Send out press releases to local media / internet

What's Next

Most importantly, in order to get anything of the ground, we need
volunteers who want to work with i18n.
* If you have the intention and opportunity to actively contribute
to i18n, please send me an email off list (chris.peters at
and let me know what you could do.
* If you have less time, but still want to contribute, subscribe
to the i18n list and actively to stay tuned to international

Our first step will be to define the activities and goals for i18n in
more detail. Obviously the discussion for this will be done through the
i18n list with frequent feedback to the general list.

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