Unique but universal: Localizing user interfaces

Successful user interfaces, websites and apps owe their glamour to a combination of captivating text and eye-catching visuals. However, what attracts users in one locale, might appear bland or even offensive in another. So what makes a great, localized user interface?

Text by Alberto Ferreira


Unique but universal: Localizing user interfaces

Image: © Oleksiy/ 123rf.com

Let’s imagine that you have designed a wonderful website with good functionality. It speaks directly to the user, it is informal and straight to the point. Your layout and design are impressive, harmonious, arresting. There is only one thing between you and global success: language. Your navigation bar is not adaptable to Chinese, your intuititive slide-down pages do not conform with right-to-left scripts, and your catchy titles are lost in translation.

As an essential component of human-centered design, user experience (UX) is often defined as the set of emotional and evaluative perceptions and responses that a user goes through while interacting with a given user interface (UI).

The ISO 9241-210 norm defines UX as “a person's perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service”. Broad in its target, the psychological implications of ...