adapting an interface or content to the different languages, skill sets and expectancies of a globally accessible application.

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143
votes
13answers
7k views

Language of language names in the language selector?

Imagine a site that's available in multiple languages. The language is detected automatically by looking at the IP or the browser header. But that's not bulletproof, so a few users might end up on a ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

What UI/UX patterns do not “translate” well when localized to other languages?

I wanted to see what tips other designers with more experience designing for web applications and sites that must handle multiple language might have. I know the basics, like expect the length of ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the mental model of time advancing to the right in charts globally accepted?

Is it a common mental model, that in a chart visualizing a time dimension, the time is advancing to the right? I'm currently working with the Internation Business Communication Standards (IBCS). They ...
22
votes
4answers
7k views

Best pattern for international address forms?

I've noticed an emerging pattern in web-based forms is to put the country field before city/state. This is contrary to how we would normally fill out an address on paper, but it allows us to have ...
20
votes
3answers
851 views

Should angle quotation marks be used as arrows?

Angle quotes (a.k.a. guillemets) are often used as arrows in pagination and such. For example, this image is from a pagination example on Bootstrap's site: As a native U.S. English speaker, these ...
19
votes
4answers
482 views

Middle Eastern usability considerations

I have been given a task of researching usability of Middle Eastern websites so the considerations can help shape the functional specification and wire-frame diagrams. What is noticeable from the ...
19
votes
2answers
747 views

Which is the best way to select a language from 400 possibilities?

We are defining a language selector for 400 languages. Given the massive number of languages compared to other websites, we applied several mechanisms to reduce the complexity of the language list. ...
18
votes
5answers
520 views

Should apps allow the use of non-Latin names?

When you have an application with an intended international audience, you are likely to run into issues with names. The W3C has some interesting documentation on names, but I'm not sure how good it ...
14
votes
1answer
403 views

Is the question mark “?” internationally recognised as an icon for help?

I'm looking to use "?" as my help button icon in a desktop application but I'm unsure how universally recognisable this will be. I can localise this for different culture if necessary. Any ideas?
13
votes
6answers
1k views

What do you put in a country list for countries with more than one common name?

I'm from England, which means in drop-down lists I have to search for United Kingdom, then England, then Great Britain... it's generally the UK, but it does vary from site to site. What is the best ...
13
votes
4answers
7k views

Where to place currency symbol when localizing and what to do with odd symbols

Is there a suggested, single location to place the currency symbol every time for any given locale? For example, always on the left with a space before the amount like this: R 10.00 $ 10.00 € 10.00 ...
13
votes
1answer
412 views

How should keyboard mnemonics be localized?

Is there a standard approach to localizing (internationalize) keyboard mnemonics? For example, in Windows Notepad in English, if the user types Alt+E then P, the Edit menu opens and then the Paste ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Should i use country flags in language selection fields?

My users can create content in different languages, and i need to provide an option to choose the language when they enter new content. Right now there are only 5 languages (en, fr, de, pt, es), and ...
10
votes
1answer
722 views

What's a good alternative to flags for depicting internationalisation as an option?

Are flags a bad idea? In various comments on How to design a multi-language website?, several designers voiced their concern for the use of flags as a symbol to represent language switching on a ...
10
votes
4answers
231 views

How can you make names in one alphabet readable and pronouncable by users of another alphabet?

A few months ago, World of Warcraft decided to make a drastic change in their Player vs Player matchmaking system: Russian players would be able to face off against non-Russian players on English ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

Drop down menu with language choice, what should the languages language be?

I hope the title is not confusing. I am talking about the (so common) drop down menu (doesn't have to be a drop down) where you choose the language. Something like this: As you can see this gives ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Scrollbars in right-to-left layout

I'm currently developing the Arabic version of an existing iOS app. iOS always displays scroll bars on the right. Should they be displayed on the left in RTL mode? With right-aligned content (images ...
8
votes
4answers
935 views

A good solution how to localize and let user choose language on HTML page

I read another question where a poster states that flags should not be used for languages since flags represent countries. In my mind I agree but in my eye this solution is the best: Do you agree ...
8
votes
5answers
881 views

Is a language switcher necessary on a web site's every page?

I'm working on a multilingual WordPress driven web site running the WPML plugin. WPML offers a language switcher widget which is pretty neat. However, the layout of the page I'm working on is very ...
8
votes
4answers
9k views

Is adding commas to numbers a cultural thing?

In the US, it's very common to add a comma for numbers of more than 3 digits (ex: 1,000 for one thousand ; 1,000,000 for one million ; etc.). In France though, we don't use this at all and commas are ...
8
votes
6answers
446 views

Guidelines for designing usability for Japanese elderly

I'm currently working on a Japanese website (all in Japanese) aimed towards Japanese users age ranging from 50+. It's not a traffic heavy website and it's just mostly text and information with a ...
8
votes
1answer
276 views

Common website phrases in multiple languages?

Is there a resource anywhere that lists common web UI phrases in multiple languages? I'm interested in having quick access to translations of phrases like cancel, save, welcome, and so on for quick ...
8
votes
2answers
518 views

Grouping best practices for list with international data

I have a grouped list of items sorted alphabetically. Groups are created from the first character of each item title. All characters that not belongs to any alphabet are grouped into a unique group ...
7
votes
4answers
613 views

Are the flags of any countries controversial to use in a UI?

This post indicates that using flags to represent languages is probably a bad idea: http://www.456bereastreet.com/archive/200604/indicating_language_choice_flags_text_both_neither/ What about using ...
6
votes
5answers
5k views

International Phone Number Field Layout and Design.

I have a form that asks for the customer's phone number number. The customer's are international and not limited to the U.S. and Canada. Does anyone have any best practices on how to layout (and ...
6
votes
1answer
251 views

International conventions/standards for abbreviating large numbers?

The concept of formatting large numbers in an abbreviated fashion for casual, non-scientific display (e.g. 12,345 as "12.3k") is well explored on SE: What is an alternative way to display a very ...
6
votes
2answers
408 views

Mixing languages on a blog : cute or worst idea ever?

I want to create a blog where posts can be in various languages. In the current version, I have 209 posts total, with 29 in English and 1 in Italian (the rest is in French). I've read that Google ...
6
votes
1answer
247 views

Shouldn't automated translation be optional?

More and more websites use some automated translation into what they think is my language of choice, be that by relying on a browser setting (for which I'm looking for a fix) or worse by geolocation. ...
5
votes
5answers
239 views

Is it ok to use different fonts for translated versions of the same website?

I am building a webpage for a company that is present in many countries, thats why there will be individual websites for every country. While having no problems with the technical aspects, I am a bit ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Best way to display a currency picker for an ecommerce site?

I've just converted an ecommerce site to support multiple currencies rather than just one and was looking for any feedback or experience in how to display the fact that the site can now be viewed in ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the best mechanism for language and country selection?

I need my users to choose their country to use my site. The French version has a totally different setup to the English version, for example. I'm The trouble is, if I merely ask the user for their ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Why Greek letter mu (μ) on European keyboards?

AZERTY-style keyboard layouts in France and Belgium have a dedicated key for typing the Greek small letter mu (μ). While not having a dedicated (μ) key, keyboards in Germany, Denmark, Finland, ...
5
votes
1answer
201 views

Spanish UX Keywords Cheat Sheet

I expect to be working on a web application within the next several months and I'd like to "shoehorn" a Spanish language version of the site. If a large enough number of Spanish language users begin ...
5
votes
1answer
132 views

Is it necessary to reorganize your entire layout to suit multilingual left-to-right languages?

I'm working on a flash project right now that is necessary to support 16 languages, from english to hebrew, and etc... My dilemma right now is whether or not it is necessary to flip my whole design to ...
5
votes
3answers
179 views

Tagging symbols (eg. @, #) What are the others?

I am creating a tagging system like Facebook. But unlike Facebook, where it would show all kinds of objects (eg. people, page, groups) under the '@' symbol, I want to separate things better. For ...
5
votes
2answers
483 views

i18N and form design

I'm trying to design a web form supporting internationalization (i18n). The form will be part of a large event management software. Users login, create events (like conferences, roadshows, and so ...
5
votes
2answers
815 views

In RTL locales, should mobile application animations be reversed?

In mobile applications, it's common to drill down with the new view animating in from the right. Going back results in the opposing animation (from the left). These are analogous to turning a page. ...
4
votes
3answers
336 views

How should one communicate invalid/valid telephone numbers?

When filling in a form with real time validation and contextual help, how should one communicate the logic behind the telephone number validation? For example, then contextual help would give hints ...
4
votes
3answers
198 views

Address form, field for “region”

I've done some research and found that each country has its own way of subdividing the country into smaller parts. Examples: Departments (France) States (USA) Provinces (Netherlands) Counties (UK) ...
4
votes
2answers
301 views

Colours in cultures : where does the data come from?

I've just come across a chart called "Colours in Cultures" that you can find here : http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/colours-in-cultures/ Since I'd rather not bother the author ...
4
votes
3answers
900 views

How to design a multi-language website ?

I have a blog where I write in French, and sometimes in English. Right now, the distinction is made with a "tag" called "In English", so that users can get the feed for, say, only the English posts. ...
4
votes
2answers
75 views

Intuitive cross-cultural terms for full name and name-to-be-addressed-as

If a user interface only deals with English or European languages, it's usually quite straightforward to split a user's name into given_name and surname. This way, you can easily do things like: ...
4
votes
1answer
312 views

Cursor position and movement in Bidi Input.

In the case of Bidi input, where both RTL and LTR types languages can be mixed together, what should be the cursor position? And what should be the movement of the cursor with Home and End buttons? ...
4
votes
1answer
213 views

What is the best practice for enter key form submission on sites that use IMEs (i.e. Japanese)

I've got an enterprise app with various forms, some single input forms like global search boxes and other longer data entry style forms. For the West it is clear that pressing enter is a preferred ...
3
votes
3answers
399 views

Are there any other approaches to language selection other than these?

I'm working on something for a pitch of sorts and would like to look into other approaches to the language/region problem. These are the variations I remember seeing. clickable Flags or language ...
3
votes
2answers
89 views

Why do some blogs and sales pages capitalize all words of titles in languages where such a form is not natural?

There is a form of expression that is valid in English, which is to capitalize the first letter of every word, including the link words, on a newspaper article title for example. Translate the text in ...
3
votes
2answers
50 views

What are the recommended approaches to internationalization fallbacks?

I'm currently laying the groundwork for internationalizing a web application. I'm torn between falling back to using asterisks or just the default English text for missing translations. Using ...
3
votes
2answers
52 views

How should a sum of heterogeneous currencies be presented to the user?

We write analytics software. Recently our customers have asked us to take a look at expanding our services into the e-commerce arena, and this has raised some tricky questions in an internationalized ...
3
votes
1answer
799 views

Placeholders for format in address form

I am creating an address form and want to add placeholders to the fields to display the format of what the user needs to enter. For email addresses, phone numbers and credit card details this is ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

“Lorem ipsum” for non-Latin scripts?

Lorem ipsum is the standard "placeholder" text for demonstrating typefaces or layouts in the Latin alphabet: it's got a relatively normal distribution of characters for a Western European language, ...