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From Icons To Controlled English


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Using icons and controlled English to prepare content for international distribution

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From Icons To Controlled English

  1. 1. From Icons to Controlled English Communicate Effectively and Save Money, too
  2. 2. I needed an icon…
  3. 3. How to contact me John Watkins President ENLASO Corporation [email_address] Tel: (208) 672-8500 x95
  4. 4. Overview <ul><li>Definitions for key terms </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the needs </li></ul><ul><li>An Icon Study </li></ul><ul><li>Write clear, concise English </li></ul>
  5. 5. Definitions <ul><li>Icons are graphics that provide a simple, clear message for the user without text. </li></ul><ul><li>Simplified English is a aerospace standard (ASD-STE) using a 900 word core vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>Controlled English is derived from aerospace Simplified English (ASD-STE 100). Uses a vocabulary of ~1,500 words and is designed for global technical communication to improve readability and comprehension for technical communications. </li></ul><ul><li>Plain English uses a vocabulary of ~2,500 words and is intended for ease of comprehension, typical for government writing and public banking documents. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Definitions, 2 <ul><li>Locales – Combine place, culture, and local language. </li></ul><ul><li>Globalization – Establish a plan to communicate a message or product to different locales. </li></ul><ul><li>Internationalization – Create the “product” so that it can be easily applied to each locale. </li></ul><ul><li>Localization – Modify the source product for each locale. </li></ul><ul><li>Translation – Convert text from a source language into target languages. </li></ul>Globalization Internationalization Localization
  7. 7. Understanding the needs <ul><li>Simplification helps to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Control text quality, consistency and accuracy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhance the customer experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make one to many translations easier and better </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control and reduce costs for global market </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Examine how these needs apply </li></ul><ul><ul><li>With icons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With controlled English </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Icons
  10. 10. Icon basics <ul><li>Icons are symbols that communicate a concept without words </li></ul><ul><li>Especially useful when used for international messages </li></ul><ul><li>Applications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>User interfaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Packaging and labeling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Documentation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Signs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cultural differences impact design and implementation </li></ul>
  11. 11. Meeting the needs: Icons <ul><li>Control quality and consistency: Consistent use of icons to provide graphic representation of a concept or content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhance the customer experience by providing content in easy to understand graphic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide for safe use by avoiding confusion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce product liability exposure with information that users can easily understand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control and/or reduce costs by eliminating words </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Icon basics <ul><li>Tips </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid single-letter concepts as they do not “translate” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid embedding text with the icon – it should stand on its own </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid graphics that depict human body elements or body language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid images of animals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid graphics depicting religion, politics, race, or ethnicity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid reference to regional practice (reading direction, date/time, money). </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Icons case study <ul><li>McDonald’s has a long history (30 years) of sharing nutritional information to their consumers </li></ul><ul><li>Create a new language of nutrition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EU minimum guidelines for nutritional information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Needing to expand the concept beyond the European market, McDonalds takes a leadership role </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop a universal visual language for 30,000+ restaurants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on key nutrients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Calories, Protein, Fat, Carbohydrates, Salt </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Expanded to include: Fiber, Sugar, Saturated fat </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Icons Case Study <ul><li>The challenge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not enough room for multi-language labels </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Icons case study <ul><li>Issues at the start </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Original icons were not universally acceptable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture greatly impacts the interpretation of icons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Big market means a lot of opinions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Their icons need to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate the desired nutrients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work in 109 countries without negative or social, or political connotations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Print or display well in all media, including packaging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be available (nobody else owns rights to the image) </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Icons case study <ul><li>Scope </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examine each proposed icon in 109 markets for: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Existing meanings for the visual </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prevalence of the existing meaning(s) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Existence, prevalence, intensity of negative connotations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Existence, prevalence, intensity of positive connotations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Existing similar symbols currently in use </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interpretation issues caused by color variations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Risk assessment of misinterpretation of the visual </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Overall acceptability of using a visual, based on expert iconographer judgment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A lot of data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>109 countries </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>8 measurements for </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>15 draft icons </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>>13,000 data points to analyze </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Icons case study <ul><li>What we learned </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fiber </li></ul></ul>Low risk icon for fiber with high acceptance level from cultural analysis High risk: Associated with Christmas tree or a burning candle High risk: Associated this with -Marijuana because of 3 leaves High risk: Perceived as “slippery” or “curvy” road and “bird sanctuary” High risk: 47 countries associated this with “scary alien”
  18. 18. Icons case study <ul><ul><li>Calcium (not used) </li></ul></ul>Unclear: Although the “smiley face” was considered a positive image, typically it was not associated with calcium. In Ireland this symbol is associated with narcotics or medicine. High risk: Milk bottles were often associated with mysterious, dark liquid, beer or wine bottles. Some feedback that bottles could contain poison. High risk: Vague resemblance to milk cartons in some countries. More countries associated image with buildings, and in some cases portable toilets. Two countries noted resemblance to phallic symbols or tombstones. High risk: Dogs, dog food and low quality. Has potentially insulting connotations in some Muslim regions. Negative Cultural Feedback Icons for Calcium
  19. 19. Icons case study <ul><li>Final Icons </li></ul>
  20. 20. Icons case study summary <ul><li>Meeting the objectives – “ We have accomplished our mission: keep the information simple, easy to understand, language-free and top line. ” Bridget Coffing, McDonald’s Vice President of Corporate Relations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhance the customer experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Providing nutritional information on food wrappers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide for safe use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provides details suitable for improving the diets of consumers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce liability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Allows compliance with EU guidelines </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control and/or reduce costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provides easy printing and distribution across multiple markets </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Meet the needs: Simplifying the content <ul><li>Simplify content to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Control English text quality and consistency through key words and a simplified grammar. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhance your global customer experience with content that clearly states the intended message. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide clear instructions for safe product use in unambiguous language that customers understand. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce product liability exposure, mitigate risks and comply with government directives and safety regulations. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control and/or reduce costs with a standardized controlled vocabulary and grammar that is easier to translate and localize. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Which English? Simplified English Controlled English Plain English
  23. 23. Goals <ul><li>Write in clear, concise English </li></ul><ul><li>Enforce consistent terminology </li></ul><ul><li>Write reusable content so that you recycle the good not bad </li></ul><ul><li>Write English content that is translatable </li></ul><ul><li>Simplify the authoring process by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Controlling vocabulary with software tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Controlling grammar, ideal for less experienced authors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supporting collaborative and/or outsourced authoring teams US, UK, India, China </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Simplifying English <ul><li>Simplified English </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ASD-STE100 Simplified Technical English is mandatory for the four million pages of XML content for all Airbus, Bombardier and Boeing aircraft manuals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Boeing DreamLiner Manuals, if printed, would reach Mt. Everest and back. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aerospace uses 8,500 Simplified English terms versus 900,000 English words. </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Simplifying English <ul><li>Controlled English was adapted from ASD-STE for non-aerospace products and services. </li></ul><ul><li>Concepts transferred with custom verb sets and technical vocabularies. </li></ul><ul><li>Text Mining lets you adapt SE to CE in 30 days. </li></ul><ul><li>Controlled English works in 140 countries and forms a base of easily translatable content. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Simplifying English <ul><li>Plain English is ideal for eGovernment, Section 508 regulations and low-literacy audiences </li></ul><ul><li>McDonalds has 800% staff turnover, many ESL </li></ul><ul><li>Medicare Part D, pharmaceutical labels, mortgage documentation are Plain English challenges. </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Correspondence. </li></ul><ul><li>Immigration Communications. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Controlled English steps <ul><li>Text Mining tools discover your terms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tools and services to help companies develop custom vocabularies from existing documents and word lists (with connections to Translation Memory tools) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build a dictionary in 30 days. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Grammar Checkers connect to applications to monitor the text so that all writers follow the same rules. </li></ul><ul><li>Adopt complimentary concepts like DITA to reduce the complexity of technical documentation. </li></ul>
  28. 28. DITA ready <ul><li>DITA can help </li></ul><ul><ul><li>DITA is all about &quot;assigning types to content&quot; (DITA=Darwin Information Typing Architecture), so the tag sets it offers are designed to provide semantically useful information with the content they markup. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DITA defines sets of elements that have specific tags (e.g., title, emphasis, keyword, code). These tags enhance text search capabilities with the use of XML. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DITA is growing rapidly due to multi-million investment from IBM, producing millions of pages per year. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Controlled English reinforces the simplification. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DITA helps with translation </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Example rules <ul><li>Write clearly – example rules </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use only the active voice for procedures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not use gerunds because they cause translation errors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write short sentences <25 words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not write more than three nouns in row </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Put the articles before the nouns for comprehension </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Never use jargon, slang, or play on words (“Do you want a box for that?”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write one thought in each sentence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep six sentences in each paragraph </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Remember your audience – keep it simple! </li></ul>
  30. 30. Controlled English example <ul><li>Before </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Three phase power is provided by three separate generators. They are the main source of power for the main AC buses and the whole electrical power system. Two generators are driven by the engines and one generator is driven by the auxiliary power unit (APU). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Passive voice </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Indirect reference “They” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ambiguous use of “main” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Unnecessary use of “whole” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Compound sentence structure </li></ul></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Simplified English example <ul><li>Before </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Three phase power is provided by three separate generators. They are the main source of power for the main AC buses and the whole electrical power system. Two generators are driven by the engines and one generator is driven by the auxiliary power unit (APU). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>After </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Three generators supply 3-phase electrical power . These generators are the primary source of power for the primary  AC buses and the electrical power system. The engines operate two of the generators. The auxiliary power unit (APU) operates one generator. </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Controlled English tools <ul><li>Advanced computer-aided authoring tools now use artificial intelligence to monitor text for grammar, vocabulary, style and translatability. </li></ul><ul><li>There are several checker tools on the market. Look for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simultaneous critique inside your authoring software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support for a variety of authoring software environments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support for XML </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Conclusions <ul><li>Icons and Simplified English </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clarify the message </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control quality and consistency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhance the customer experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provide for safe use </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce liability </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce costs for global market </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Thank you! Any questions?
  35. 35. More information <ul><li>ENLASO </li></ul><ul><li>Using symbols and icons in localization </li></ul><ul><li>McDonald’s study reprint </li></ul><ul><li>Controlled English and MAXit tools </li></ul>
  36. 36. Contacts <ul><li>John Watkins (208) 672-8500 x95 [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>John Smart (212) 486-1894 SMART Communications, Inc. New York, NY USA [email_address] </li></ul>