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To make a product acceptable worldwide, it must be internationalized. A system must also be designed to be usable by an almost unlimited range of people, being accessible to anyone who desires to use it. The design concepts used to achieve these goals are called internationalization and accessibility.
To create a product for use internationally may involve two steps, internationalization and localization
Internationalization is the process of isolating culturally specific elements from a product. Localization is the process of infusing a specific cultural context into a previously internationalized product.
When to do it:
When the market includes few or no English speakers.
When translation is required by law or by custom.
When the widest possible market is desired.
When not to do it:
— When the audience already reads English.
When the cost of retrofitting or rewriting the software is prohibitive.
Words and Text
Use very simple English.
Develop a restricted vocabulary.
Restrict the sentence structure using: noun-verb-object.
Acronyms and abbreviations.
Stringing three nouns together.
Local or computer jargon.
A telegraphic writing style.
An over-friendly writing style.
Culturally specific examples.
References to national, racial, religious, and sexist stereotypes.
Adhere to local user language idioms and cultural contexts.
Keep the original term for words that cannot be translated.
Allow additional screen space for the translation.
Horizontally, using Table 10.1.
When translating to other languages, first do:
Middle East: Arabic.
Far East: Japanese.
Position icon captions outside of the graphic.
Modify mnemonics for keyboard access.
Adhere to local formats for date, time, money, measurements, addresses, and telephone numbers.
Images and Symbols
Adhere to local cultural and social norms.
Use internationally accepted symbols.
Develop generic images.
Be particularly careful with:
Religious symbols (crosses and stars).
The human body.
The cross and check for check boxes.
Review proposed graphical images early in the design cycle.
Color, Sequence, and Functionality
Adhere to local color connotations and conventions.
Provide the proper information sequence.
Provide the proper functionality.
Remove all references to features not supported.
Requirements Determination and Testing
Establish international requirements at the beginning of product development.
Establish a relationship within the target culture.
Test the product as if it were new.
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