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I need to design a view for two embeddable widgets (login and calendar) on a web-app for desktop browsers. The view should explain what the widgets are and how should the user set them up. Is there any suggested approach or best practices in case if most of system users are:

  1. not experienced with web technologies (HTML etc).
  2. possibly not native English speakers.

Is it okay to use phrases like: embeddable widgets, widget, login widget etc. Or should I use suggestion: "If you don't understand, send it to your computer guy".

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Do you want to explain how to set them up or how to use them? –  rk. Jun 13 '13 at 12:47
    
I'm trying to explain what they are and how to set them up. Already embedded widget should be enough self-explaining. –  Kalmer Rautam Jun 13 '13 at 12:51
    
What platform is this on? –  rk. Jun 13 '13 at 13:00
    
It's a part of webapp (for desktop browsers). –  Kalmer Rautam Jun 13 '13 at 13:11
    
I doubt non-technical users have a website to put them on... Or do I understand it wrong? –  Jop Aug 3 '13 at 8:26
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2 Answers

The term 'embeddable widgets' is in my opinion a no go if you are aiming this towards not native English speakers. In the past I have designed and programmed software that was to be used by non speakers and I can tell you that the frequency at which the person knew what the term "embedded" meant was quite low. I would recommend putting yourself in the shoes of somebody from the past. A person with no idea of what a GUI or computer are. Now try to describe it to this person in terms that are not domain specific. I can assure you that "embeddable widgets" is not one of them.

I personally try to stay away from the term "widget" as I have found that too many foreign speakers had no idea about what a "widget" was. As I am not sure at which specific demographic group you are planning to target this app, I cannot give you a good recommendation about which word to use. On the other hand, I can tell you to research your audience and get to know their vocabulary before you pull the trigger on "embeddable widgets"

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Instead of trying to explain the general category--'widgets'--explain the particular widget, and what it does for them.

"Click here to install the Calendar in your browser. This will let you see your calendar no matter what web page you're looking at, and [other feature] [other feature]."

"You'll also get the login box, which allows you to log into the Calendar and other applications we'll be deploying later."

In general most users don't care about how it works, they care about what it can do for them.

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