Quick primer in right-to-left pages

21 Jan 2011 - 4:45am
3 years ago
2 replies
771 reads
Louise Hewitt
2010

Hi all,

Sorry to cross post, but I'm up against it and want to learn as much as I can about UX for right-to-left languages as I can, as quick as possible.

I'm pretty sound on general IA processes and principles, but I've never worked a right-to-left site before, and I have a project that needs to be delivered globally.

Translation's not an issue, nor is the site architecture.

What I don't know is about page layout issues, interaction elements and classic pitfalls for right-to-left.

Any good leads or experience you'd be willing to share?

I'm happy to collate and blog the resources if it would help others.

Lou.

UX / IA / content strategy

louise.hewitt@gmail.com

  • 44 (0) 7595 829647

louisehewitt.co.uk

CUT SCISSORS GO! Ltd. Reg no. 07192709 (England and Wales) 25 Brightland Road, Eastbourne, BN20 8BG

Comments

21 Jan 2011 - 8:06am
kojo
2008

Hi,I am not sure to what extent you are willing to go, I did a whole masters on Localization and Internationalization of web content, and to be honest it can not be summed up in a mail.
When you say right-to-left do you mean Arabic or Hebrew?

Arabic is a bit more special with the calligraphic nature and the ligatures.   
Here are some initial elements that need to be managed properly:

  • R-T-L attributes in whichever publishing technology you will be using.
  • Text should be written in a localized document editor, or else you will get the classic positioning problem with numbers and prices.
  • Left scrolling to right, should be handled by the browser, but make sure it gets done.
  • Unicode correct characterset
  • As much as possible square css design with no joint elements that may mismatch if the screen is vertically flipped. Also fluid layout that may accommodate any length of lines and words.
  • Cultural specific terms, graphics, colors, images...etc...
  • Local dialects and the use of language in the various countries/regions

I hope that helps and good luck, 
kojo

UX specialistAgresso004748012520
On Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 11:39 AM, Louise Hewitt <louise.hewitt@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi all,

Sorry to cross post, but I'm up against it and want to learn as much as I can about UX for right-to-left languages as I can, as quick as possible.

I'm pretty sound on general IA processes and principles, but I've never worked a right-to-left site before, and I have a project that needs to be delivered globally.

Translation's not an issue, nor is the site architecture.

What I don't know is about page layout issues, interaction elements and classic pitfalls for right-to-left.

Any good leads or experience you'd be willing to share?

I'm happy to collate and blog the resources if it would help others.

-------- LOU. ----------------------------------------------------------------

UX / IA / content strategy

louise.hewitt@gmail.com

* 44 (0) 7595 829647

louisehewitt.co.uk

CUT SCISSORS GO! Ltd.
Reg no. 07192709 (England and Wales)
25 Brightland Road, Eastbourne, BN20 8BG

(((Pl
21 Jan 2011 - 11:05am
Louise Hewitt
2010

Thanks kojo,

The content is to be manually translated by language experts, so I'm good with that.

Not sure about the form their using for the layouts, but it's out of my hands. ditto the visual styles (brand is tight). ditto browser behaviour, etc.

I'm realising I have to beware copy that says 'links on the left' etc.

Any classic errors in terms of content prioritisation/placement etc you know of? I'm thinking, tab sequence, menu/search box placement, CTA's etc.

Do you just literally flip the whole page, or is it a stupid assumption that just because text reads right to left, that users read the page elements that way too? (I really am on square 1 here!)

Ta,

Lou.

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