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Where would you place a Change language button/Country selector (or dropdown) on a web page? In a footer menu or in a utility menu in the top right corner of a web page or somewhere else on the page? What are your findings? Where does it feel most natural?

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Be aware that country and language selectors are not the same thing at all. –  Phil Dec 14 '11 at 15:45
    
Thx. I'm aware... –  Tony Bolero Dec 14 '11 at 16:43
    
possible duplicate of Choose Your Country: Best Usability approach –  Todd Sieling Dec 14 '11 at 16:44
    
No, this is not a duplicate. This question is only about the best placement of a Change language button. Not how it should behave. –  Tony Bolero Dec 14 '11 at 16:50
    
IMHO, neither this question nor the other has particularly good answers. There may be some good information in one of the links on the other question that could be surfaced in a good answer. –  Patrick McElhaney Dec 14 '11 at 18:49

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I won't go for the note in the footer since the primary use of such a selector is when landing the very first time on the website, as soon as the user sees that he does not understand the site language, he must not have to scroll to the footer to switch language.

But this should be a secondary action. So given the cultural context, I'll put it on the top right corner for left-to-right layout.

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I'd agree with this. If research has shown you need a selector and you cannot automatically identify language/country, top right would be the place to put it. –  Sheff Dec 14 '11 at 15:12
    
Automatic language detection should never rule out the possibility of a user wanting to view a page in a language that is different from the one set by their OS. I live in Switzerland where there are 4 official languages. How would identifying that I'm visiting your website from Switzerland help you make a decision on which language I understand? What's more, none of those languages are my preferred language, which is English. Personally, I find being being served a language based on my geographical location very frustrating. I'm looking at you, Google. –  bernk May 1 '13 at 11:24

I think it is good standard to have language selector at top right corner which allows the user to quickly change the selection besides having at the bottom. Refer the McAfee home.mcafee.com website, like how they have combined the actual language name/characters with country. enter image description here

Also, Refer this thread which has detailed study on the placement of country selector. I think this thread will answer what you are after...

Choose Your Country: Best Usability approach

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I've read it and I cant' see that the dicussion is about where to position it but how. –  Tony Bolero Dec 14 '11 at 16:45
    
Eventhough it doesn't say where exactly you should place the selector but it gives you lot of insights on how we should go about in placing it. I think it all depends what kind of website or ecom website or company website you are designing for. –  Ravi Dec 14 '11 at 16:48
    
Wow, that’s a really bad example. Note how Hrvatska ‘Croatia’, Suomi ‘Finland’, Deutschland ‘Germany’, Magyarország ‘Hungary’ and España ‘Spain’ are placed in a seemingly alphabetically sorted list. (It’s not as bad for non-roman entries, but why are Greece, Israel and the Arabic one not transcribed?) Also, I’m pretty sure they do business in Belgium if Luxembourg and the Netherlands are in the list, but they speak Dutch (Flemish), French and German there which all have major country entries. Same goes for German-speaking Austria, although polyglot Switzerland has a German entry. –  Crissov Oct 23 at 22:41

This case study shows that users mostly expect that the language button is in the top right:

http://flagsarenotlanguages.com/blog/2013/10/case-study-onefinestay-com-and-dropdown-language-selection/

Click map showing users expecting to find language selector in the top right area

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