Localization and Internationalization in User Interface Design
i18n: User InterfaceLocalizationkaylablock.com 2012
Internationalization and Localization:Challenges and Solutions• Localization challenges for a user interface include: Number of characters Word length Number of words Text size Word height Scripts written right to left Scripts written top to bottom Cultural differences Colors Symbols
Language Characteristics•Long Words • German is known for long, compound words • Writing a concept in German is only about 20% longer than English • Today’s Arrivals • Die heutige Ankunft • Long German words can be hyphenated
Language Characteristics•Tall Words • Line height can vary between languages. In this Thai translation, note that the width is similar but the line height is much higher
Localization Solutions: Iconization•Use Universally Understood Icons When Possible • Magnifying glass • Calendar icon • Gears (settings) • X (close) • Forward arrow • House (representing home)
Localization Solutions: Iconization• Some Concepts are Complex and There are No Universal Icons • Non-universal icons must be either: • Intuitable • Learnable
Icons and LabelsEase of Use is optimized by using icons and labels together.
Localized Action Buttons• These icons would be likely to be understood by someone in the hotel business, even if they didn’t speak the language of the labels.
Summary• Localization issues involve more than just long words • Double byte character sets • Right to left text • Long words • Tall Words• Cultural relevancy in localization may require outside expertise