Coursework in Localization

4 Mar 2010 - 4:47pm
4 years ago
3 replies
484 reads
Robert Racadio
2008

Hello -

I have the option of taking a localization course next quarter for my masters program, but I'm on the fence as to whether I should register for it.  I'd like to get a better understanding of how valuable a localization skillset is to IxD practice.

Here are some of my questions:

  1. 1) Is there an advantage to learning about localization in an academic context rather than through work experience?2) How valuable or desirable is it for a new IxD or UX practitioner to come into the field with localization knowledge?
    3) What are the most important skills and concepts that I should possess if I want to do work in localization?

 

Thanks in advance!

Regards,
Robert

Comments

5 Mar 2010 - 12:51pm
Marc Resnick
2006

Robert,

I teach a course in localization, so I know what you mean.  There is a great benefit of getting this through real world experience.  But to be honest, this may be one of the few cases where the academic experience may have an advantage.  In the real world, we often experience localization challenges one place at a time.  And localizing to China, for example, is very different from localizing to India.  I good academic program should give you some generalizable approaches that would allow you to localize more broadly and effectively wherever you go.  But if you will be specializing in one particular locale, then it may be a different story.

5 Mar 2010 - 3:30pm
pyces
2007

This was one of my favorite courses - I became familiar with the leading cultural ethnographers and researchers and really came to understand a lot about culture and how it impacts one's expectations. I think it was invaluable and has shaped the way that I think about every design I make and what the experience of the audience culture, even major sub-cultures, might think of it and why. It also helps you just to make internationally acceptable applications in general, avoiding serious faux pas across cultures, which is especially important when working in a cross-cultural multinational company.

26 Mar 2010 - 3:40pm
Hilary Bienstock
2009

Robert,

I would check it out if I were you.  I never planned to go into localization, but in the course of my career I've worked on several local business directories and newspapers.  Even if you don't end up working on a local product, chances are that you'll end up working on a mobile app at some point, a store locator or other directory, etc.  I believe that one of the ways that our work is moving is towards providing products that can be personalized and localized.  While I don't believe that this data is crucial, or that it can only be gained in an academic context, it is very interesting and there is a lot of it out there.  One of my former employers sent me to a daylong seminar on census data, which is all publicly available and can be accessed online.  It's super cool stuff -- I'm excited that very soon we'll have lots of brand new census data to play with!

Hilary
 

Hilary User Experience
                   Hilary Bienstock, Principal

 

hilary@hilaryue.com  :: 310.883.5818  ::  fax 310.829.2839



From: Robert Racadio <contact@ixda.org>
To: hilaryb@stanfordalumni.org
Sent: Thu, March 4, 2010 1:49:20 PM
Subject: [IxDA] Coursework in Localization

Hello -

I have the option of taking a localization course next quarter for my masters program, but I'm on the fence as to whether I should register for it.  I'd like to get a better understanding of how valuable a localization skillset is to IxD practice.

Here are some of my questions:

1) 1) Is there an advantage to learning about localization in an academic
  context rather than through work experience?2) How valuable or
  desirable is it for a new IxD or UX practitioner to come into the field
  with localization knowledge?3) What are the most important skills and
  concepts that I should possess if I want to do work in localization?

 

Thanks in advance!

Regards,Robert

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