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Web Usability   International Design
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Web Usability International Design

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Web Usability International Design Presentation Transcript

  • 1.  
  • 2. International use
    • In 1997 USA and Canada accounted for around 80% of total web population.
    • In 1999, the proportion is 55% to 45%.
    • In 2000, the proportion was 50/50.
    • In 2005, approximately only 20% of users are in North America.
    • The rest of users are in different countries around the world.
    • This suggests designers to pay more attention to the problem of international use of their Web sites.
  • 3. Internationalization vs. localization
    • Traditional software development distinguishes between internationalization and localization.
    • Internationalization refers to having a single design that can be used world-wide.
    • Localization refers to making an adapted version of that design for a specific locale.
    • Internationalization involves the use of simpler language that can be understood by non-native speakers, whereas localization often involves translation.
    • For the Web, it makes sense to internationalize sites rather than localizing them.
  • 4. Designing for internationalization
    • Most of internationalization guidelines are the same for the Web as for traditional SE.
    • E.g., don’t use icons that give your users the finger (or other gesture that are offensive in their culture).
    • In two aspects, it is easier to design international user interfaces for the Web:
      • HTML has had many international character codes ( ü, é, and ø, for example )
      • Web pages don’t follow a strict WYSIWYG layout, it becomes easier to translate designs into expansive languages like German.
  • 5. Designing for internationalization (continued)
    • On the Web, pages can be translated into other languages, and their layout will automatically adjust.
    • Remember not to “overdesign” that the page will not work if some words are pushed around or if some table cells become a little wider.
    • A new concern for the Web and the Internet is that international networking allows real-time interactions.
  • 6. Designing for internationalization (continued)
    • Any times listed on a web page should either be given in the 24-hour system or make clear AM/PM.
    • Time zone could also be specified. Possibly with a reference to GMT. But many users do not understand GMT either.
    • For example, you could state “The press conference starts 1p.m. in New York (GMT-5), corresponding to 19:00 in Paris and 3:00 the next day in Tokyo”.
    • The date of an event should not be given in the notation 4/5. Instead spell out the month (4-th May).
    • Currency ($1,000 versus €1.000), the currency symbol; and units of measurement (miles vs. kilometres).
  • 7. Domains
    • There is a question what is better to get a domain ending in .com or to use the country’s own domain (.uk, .fi, etc.).
    • Unfortunately, many users have been trained to view “.com” as the standard ending for commercial websites.
    • Suggestions from J.Nielsen:
    • For a site that uses English and is clearly worldwide in its appeal and user base, get a “.com” domain.
    • For a site that uses any other language, use the appropriate country domain ending.
    • For a site that has mainly local appeal, covers mainly local issues, or sells local products, use the country domain, no matter what language is used on the site.
  • 8. International inspection
    • International inspection is a great way of ensuring international usability of a web design.
    • It involves having people (preferably usability specialists) from multiple countries look over your design and analyze whether they think it would cause any problems in their country.
    • International inspection is partly guess-work because it does not involve real users doing real tasks with the system, but at least it results in educated guesses.
    • Getting an international feedback at the early stage is important (bigger chances to catch usability problems).
  • 9. Translated & multilingual sites
    • The main way of localizing websites is to translate them into the most commonly used languages.
    • By analyzing your server logs, you can see whether there are any countries with a substantial number of users. These are candidates for a translation.
    • Also, if you logs tells you that certain countries are under-represented relative to their size and number of Internet users then you may also have identified a candidate for translation.
    • Companies, lacking resources, apply a hybrid model (some pages are translated, and some are not).
  • 10. Language choice
    • In many ways, the ideal international user interface is one that is available in the user’s preferred language.
    • Many websites use manual options for language selection.
    • Three common ways of implementing language choice:
      • To use a starting page
      • To have a language menu on the home page
      • To have a language menu on all subsequent pages
    • The first options is preferred unless there is no possibility of deciding on a default language.
  • 11. Language choice
    • To choose between a small number of languages, it is recommended listing the name of each language as a word, using each language’s own name for itself, for example, English-Fran çais.
    • The most frequently used visual symbol for a language is probably a flag, but unfortunately flags represent countries and not languages.
    • Some languages are spoken in many countries and some countries have many spoken languages.
    • Often, it is probably best to avoid icons for languages and simply list them by name English flag (red cross on a white background).
  • 12. Language choice
    • The user should always be given the option to reconsider the choice of language on subsequent pages.
    • Users may want to change language in case they are capable of reading multiple languages and they feel that the transition of a certain page into their preferred language is poorly done.
    • Different URLs should be used for the different translations of the same content so that users can bookmark the proper entry point and bypass language choice if they visit again.
  • 13. International user testing
    • It is recommended to perform international usability testing with users from a few countries in different parts of the world.
    • Two fundamentals of international user testing are: to involve real users and have them do real tasks without your help.
    • The optimal solution is to cover all countries in which you have significant activities.
    • The typical solution is to evaluate international usability in a few countries with at least one country in each of the main areas of the world.
  • 14. Methods of testing
    • The five main ways to conduct international user testing include the following:
      • Go to the foreign country yourself
      • Run the test remotely
      • Hire a local usability consultant to run the test
      • Have staff from your local branch office run the test, even though they are not trained in usability
      • Have the user performs a self-administered test without supervision
  • 15. Conclusions
    • Countries are different and people from different countries are different.
    • Users from around the world will use your website differently.
    • It is important to pay attention to international usability.
    • You can’t provide ideal international usability the first time.
    • You can start with one country, but it is important to start.
    • Eventually, international usability will be a requirement for success on the Internet.
    • Sites will die if they don’t provide high-quality service in multiple countries.