Looking for clever localization ideas

24 Nov 2009 - 2:46am
6 years ago
2 replies
665 reads

Hej John,

What I may have missed in your list is a description/definition of who
the user of the product is. In my opinion it makes quite some difference
whether it is a trained proffesional (that is able to learn the meaning
of icons and "out of context" text labels) or a layman (who most likely
doesn't know anything else than her own mother language and isn't
familiair with the icons).


Daynes, John schreef:
> Hi IxDA community,
> I'm working on an emergency medical product that will be sold around the
> world into countries with as many as 20 different languages. It will
> have a display and control panel, and a number of external labels. There
> will be associated operator's manuals and service manuals that will also
> need to be translated. One of our major costs, both in schedule and
> dollars, is the localization. I'm just wondering if you have used or
> encountered some clever solutions to the localization burden.
> Here are some things to keep in mind:
> * This is a physical product, not a Web app
> * Symbols/icons will already be used where they can be easily
> understood, but many controls will need text
> * The info on the display will be the easiest to deal with--it's
> keypads, labels and such that present the largest challenge
> * It may be used in an environment where it could be dropped or
> bumped into hard objects
> * Figure a weight somewhere between 10 and 15 lbs
> Since it's an emergency device, we try to design out use errors as best
> we can. It has to be easy to use.
> Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks,
> John Daynes
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1 Dec 2009 - 6:15pm
Jared M. Spool

Hi John (and anyone else interested),

I was thinking about you.

Today, I sat through the rehearsal for Patrick Hoffman's upcoming
UIE Virtual Seminar on Icons and Images, where he went through
detailed discussions of taking icons to other cultures -- what works
and what doesn't.

Patrick works for Google Australia and has been researching the
jeebus out of this topic. His findings are really quite fascinating.

I'd highly recommend watching the seminar (either live or the
recordings), if you want to know more about making icons work in a
localized fashion.

Effective Use of Icons & Images


Jared M. Spool
User Interface Engineering
510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
e: jspool at uie.com p: 1 978 327 5561
http://uie.com Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks Twitter: @jmspool

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