Looking for clever localization ideas

24 Nov 2009 - 2:46am
4 years ago
2 replies
386 reads
Gerard
2005

Hej John,

What I may have missed in your list is a description/definition of who
the user of the product is. In my opinion it makes quite some difference
whether it is a trained proffesional (that is able to learn the meaning
of icons and "out of context" text labels) or a layman (who most likely
doesn't know anything else than her own mother language and isn't
familiair with the icons).

regards,
Gerard

Daynes, John schreef:
> Hi IxDA community,
> I'm working on an emergency medical product that will be sold around the
> world into countries with as many as 20 different languages. It will
> have a display and control panel, and a number of external labels. There
> will be associated operator's manuals and service manuals that will also
> need to be translated. One of our major costs, both in schedule and
> dollars, is the localization. I'm just wondering if you have used or
> encountered some clever solutions to the localization burden.
> Here are some things to keep in mind:
> * This is a physical product, not a Web app
> * Symbols/icons will already be used where they can be easily
> understood, but many controls will need text
> * The info on the display will be the easiest to deal with--it's
> keypads, labels and such that present the largest challenge
> * It may be used in an environment where it could be dropped or
> bumped into hard objects
> * Figure a weight somewhere between 10 and 15 lbs
>
> Since it's an emergency device, we try to design out use errors as best
> we can. It has to be easy to use.
>
> Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks,
>
> John Daynes
>
>
>
>
>
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Comments

24 Nov 2009 - 5:17pm
Anonymous

These are all very good questions, and I probably should have filled in
more detail the first time around...

* The user can range from a highly trained cardiologist, to a member of
a trained hospital code team down to a floor nurse that may be on loan
from an agency and hasn't had any training on this particular instrument
at all. We have ways of dealing with the differences in training, but I
have serious doubts about icons being able to convey the meaning to an
untrained user in a very intense emergency situation.
* How many controls? Around 23, and half of them are primary controls
that should always be available. The rest could possibly become soft
controls which would help with localization.
* The device is operated under very intense conditions. Users are called
to a patient anywhere in a hospital--hallways, bathrooms, emergency
room--anywhere. Users are mostly trained in how to operate the device,
but some may have never seen this particular brand before. Because of
the highly charged nature of the emergency, lesser trained users have
been known to wait till someone else shows up to take responsibility for
the patient care. Obviously, we don't want that.
* Some of the functions are context-dependent, some are not. I'm working
on some concepts related to that.

Some things I've thought about:
* Keypad buttons with integrated OLED displays so that software can
handle the localization changes.
* Full front panel touch screen for the same reason
* A keypad with a "pocket" so you could slide an inexpensive translated
sheet over the actual keys
* A membrane switch keypad that comes without the top graphic layer so
you could print and emboss relatively inexpensive translated overlays.
* If the localization solution compromises usability, learnability and
memorability we may just bite the bullet and localize as we have in the
past.

Thanks for your help!
John

-----Original Message-----
From: Sascha Brossmann [mailto:sascha.brossmann at googlemail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 12:04 PM
To: Gerard
Cc: Daynes, John; discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Looking for clever localization
ideas

On Tue, Nov 24, 2009 at 08:46, Gerard <gos at xs4all.nl> wrote:
> What I may have missed in your list is a
description/definition of who
> the user of the product is.

Additionally:

1) How many controls whose function needs to be communicated are
there?
2) How and under which circumstances are they operated?
3) Can their respective function be invoked at all times or
depending on context?

What basically comes to my mind is not written text but audible
(i.e.
spoken) <labels> paired with visual clues (i.e. blinking LED) to
indicate the respective control. If your users are trained professionals
they might in case just need a <describe> button or such and could then
operate the control they would be not sure about at one point. Further,
with visual clues and voice hints, you could as well guide your users
through certain procedures. This might even work for untrained people.

Cheers,

Sascha

https://www.xing.com/profile/Sascha_Brossmann
http://www.linkedin.com/in/brsma
http://twitter.com/brsma

[CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY NOTICE]

Information transmitted by this email is proprietary to Medtronic and is intended for use only by the individual or entity to which it is addressed, and may contain information that is private, privileged, confidential or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient or it appears that this mail has been forwarded to you without proper authority, you are notified that any use or dissemination of this information in any manner is strictly prohibited. In such cases, please delete this mail from your records.

To view this notice in other languages you can either select the following link or manually copy and paste the link into the address bar of a web browser: http://emaildisclaimer.medtronic.com

1 Dec 2009 - 6:15pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

Hi John (and anyone else interested),

I was thinking about you.

Today, I sat through the rehearsal for Patrick Hoffman's upcoming
UIE Virtual Seminar on Icons and Images, where he went through
detailed discussions of taking icons to other cultures -- what works
and what doesn't.

Patrick works for Google Australia and has been researching the
jeebus out of this topic. His findings are really quite fascinating.

I'd highly recommend watching the seminar (either live or the
recordings), if you want to know more about making icons work in a
localized fashion.

Effective Use of Icons & Images
http://www.uie.com/events/virtual_seminars/icons_images/

Jared

Jared M. Spool
User Interface Engineering
510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
e: jspool at uie.com p: 1 978 327 5561
http://uie.com Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks Twitter: @jmspool

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