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I was checking out at a convenience store recently and the card reader asked if the the amount of money it was going to charge me matched my expectations. It looked something like this:

$15.24 Is the amount correct? (Yes/Sí) (No/No)

I laughed at the label No/No because of the redundancy. I imagined that they could fix it by merging both Nos into one; something like this:

$15.24 Is the amount correct? (Yes/Sí) (No)

But now it looks inconsistent. One button has two words, the other only one.

Which is a better user experience? Is there a third better option?

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    Is there a reason the question (prompt) is in English only but the buttons are bilingual? Is the user expected to know what the question means in another language but unable to understand the three-letter word on the button? – rwong Nov 10 '14 at 2:26
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    @rwong I'm not sure. The prompt text was definitely in English and not in Spanish, yet the buttons were bilingual. It's possible that the cashier asked would ask the question verbally to the customer. – qtip Nov 10 '14 at 2:34
  • On a technical level, I suspect the odd looking "No/No" is a result of the system supporting lots of different language combinations and having no logic to work out if two phrases are identical. – Matt Obee Nov 10 '14 at 9:46
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    Love the question... got me thinking... maybe not answering, but surely thinking. – Itumac Nov 12 '14 at 22:10
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Both approaches result uncomfortable.

Between the two I would choose the simple "No" one. (btw, I'm a native Spanish speaker). Why? Because if I just want to select "No" and for some reason didn't read the other button, when I see the button with the "No/No" I would tend to check if I'm missing something with the 2nd "No". If there's just 1 "No" or I want to select "Yes", I wouldn't have that concern.

Maybe a good third option to avoid this kind of redundancy/consistency is to use symbols/icons.

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As a Canadian, I've grown accustomed to seeing things twice on buttons, documents - everywhere - because we have two official languages. It's so pervasive that I don't see it as redundant, though from a design perspective it clearly is.

However, from a technical and programming perspective what your seeing may have more to do with translation strings than design.

If the company which manufactures the POS system supplies several retailers in several countries, or even just Canada and the US, it would make sense for them to make installation as simple as possible for available translations: English Only, English/French, English/Spanish. When the bilingual installation takes place, there may be a toggle (on/off/off, on/on/off, on/off/on) within the machine which pulls the translation from its firmware to display the appropriate button.

TL;DR Eliminating redundant translations would add unnecessary programming.

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    Some would argue that the user experience trumps programming effort. – Ken Mohnkern Nov 12 '14 at 22:14
  • I would like to point out that POS == Point of Sale, not what first pops into mind. – OozeMeister Nov 13 '14 at 21:54
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Obviously, they aren't consistent because as pointed out, the rest of the text isn't translated.

I imagine to a Spanish speaking person, the Si/No buttons only offer definitive answers to a question they don't understand... involving their money! That is a bad user experience compared to English speaking folks with an eye for interface design that evokes a smirk as they confirm their purchase.

So consistency trumps redundancy in this scenario.


If the entire experience was translated for consistency. I think the redundancy is only relegated to "no" and other root words to such an extent that both designer and engineer should ignore the potential matches for solid code and consistent behavior.

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