Expedia Corporate Travel Lands In China
With Help From Design2Web
When www.ExpediaCorporate.com was built a year ago, none
at Expedia Corporate Travel thought they’d be re-programming
for Mandarin Chinese anytime soon. Business was going very
well in the United States, and then China’s need for on-demand
travel management solutions for businesses became a priority. The Website looked great for the
English language; however, they encountered some problems when attempting to localize the
Website for Mandarin Chinese.
Mark Hoben, Senor Visual Designer (and sometimes Web Developer) for Expedia Corporate,
tried pasting the Unicode Mandarin Chinese characters into the HTML. It seemed like a
straightforward plan to replace the English text with translations in Chinese. “I noticed that the
Website was coded to work specifically for a certain amount of English text. The Chinese
characters were bigger, and the space allowed was insufficient in the table-based HTML
structure. The ‘boxes’ just weren’t flexible enough, and our Website design broke.” He told
Design2Web that their full-time Web Developer was no longer with the company, so there was
nobody available to help in-house.
Unfortunately, tables-based HTML was insufficient to localize their Websites because the format
wouldn’t line-up, and the designs would look broken. Design2Web proposed to take the original
design for their Website and convert it into a standards-compliant format without tables. This
would allow for the Chinese characters to fit any design.
Standards-compliant XHTML and CSS would allow them to manipulate the presentation
elements, regardless of visual layout, and Chinese characters would flow as freely as necessary.
“Once the Website was converted, we were then able to work with translation services to apply
all the Chinese characters without the design breaking,” said Mark.
Because Design2Web separated presentation from content, the content was easy to maintain and
change. Mark estimates that it would probably have taken two or three times as long to
reproduce the Website into Chinese on their own. Expedia Corporate Travel is now considering
Korean, and is ready for any other language they want to localize the Website for.
3993 24th Street, Suite C
San Francisco, CA 94114
Phone: (800) 555-1212