I've had some experience with creating multilingual web sites and their admin panels. I am now in the search of the ultimate way to represent multilingual fields. I'm not trying to satisfy a ceratain use-case but trying to bump the few current "standard" ways to something more innovative
Example scenario: The editor(user) must create an article that supports 3 languages: German, English, French.
Problems that need addressing
- Maintaining easy access and if possible constant view of the original text ( text in the default language)
- If having all languages in single form in which the inputs for some of the languages are hidden then how should the errors be displayed while still being clear to the user that something's wrong.
The "standard" ways, common attempts that I've encountered for for dealing with this:
- A tabbed page (or using "accordion" collapsing) where each tab is a language. Main problems:
- That limits navigability when the page needs tabs for any other reason.
- Also the user must constantly switch tabs to see what is the original text.
- Have the user write the entire article in 1 language. Then when the language in the CMS admin panel is changed the article can be translated into that language. Main problems:
- Can't see the original text without opening another window in the original language.
- The user might simply need to copy and paste text while not knowing all the languages. The required switch will cause quite the confusion.
- Fields for each language below each other. Main problems:
- Looks overwhelmingly cluttered especially on large forms
Users seem to find option 3) the easiest to use. However I think there should be a better method.
PS: I've been looking to do something similar to roundabout jquery plugin implementation for form selection. Where instead of text the input fields for the different languages will be rotating?
I'm still looking for a solution. As updated in the first paragraph I'm not trying to satisfy a ceratain use-case but trying to bump the few current "standard" ways to something more innovative - see:
- roundabout link mentioned
- And some idea of mine that would use the roundabout to flick through languages: