Internationalization (I18n) and usability

For some US companies or agencies internationalization of their User Interface may just seem like a lot of unnecessary extra work.

They may believe that because they have no current plans to expand beyond the United States they have no reason to internationalize their web-based application.

We have found that one of the easiest ways to improve usability is to make specific textual changes. One of the key features of an internationalized site (or application) is that all of the text that appears on the screen is externalized and therefore exists in some type of resource file or database. Making text changes in the externalized files are significantly easier and much, much cheaper than when the text is embedded somewhere within the interface code.

Internationalization of the text also makes it possible for the technical writers on your team to examine the screen text and make changes. You will also save a lot of time and money on the translation costs if you first allow your writers to get text written in proper English.

We all have experienced a project where requirements change all the time and all too often these changes are last minute and textual. Wouldn’t you want to architect your application so that these last minutes changes can be made more easily? Internationalization is the answer.

There is typically a 10 to 100 times return on investment (ROI) on resources spent on Usability and User-Centered Design. We are here to help your organization become as successful as possible. Take advantage of this ROI by contacting The Usability People today.