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The definition of a bug is the product is not working according to design. use case is not working accordingly.

Bug vs. Feature Request. It’s a painful and arbitrary decision, because most of the time, it’s both. There’s no difference between a bug and a feature request from the user’s perspective. If you want to do something with an application (or website) and you can’t do it because that feature isn’t implemented — how is that any different than not being able to do something due to an error message?

vendor gets those strings but they missed a string, who’s responsiblity is it.

When you get a lot of bug fix requests from the client, how do you address it?

Anatomy of a bug
issue definition; if it is in only one language usually it is considered ia bug
priority and severity
status
configuration
localization specifics

When you get a lot of bug fix requests from the client, how do you address it?

from Kien Vu to Everyone:
Most translation vendors that i have worked with generally have the fonts and whatnot.
from Bob to Everyone:
Megan’s example could happen with any type of file incompatibility: XML, HTML, RTF, etc.
from Michael Maas to Everyone:
Absolutely.
from Bob to Everyone:
It shows that you have to be careful about assumptions!
from megan finaly to Everyone:
yes. you are right. I had no idea the printer would do that to my file and make changes in it.
from Bob to Everyone:
Yeah, some of those cases are hard to predict.
from Mark Cruth to Everyone:
yes, you have to put everything in the contract. I worked on an outsourced project that was burned by not specifying the software that should have been used
from Bob to Everyone:
I had similar problems in filmmaking where there were all sorts of different (and incompatible) formats.
from Bob to Everyone:
This sounds like the requirement for 9-track tape 🙂
from Mark Cruth to Everyone:
LOL
from Kien Vu to Everyone:
We had issues with that as well. We went with an overseas translation vendor since they were cheap. Unfortunately, they didnt put translations into memory, desktop publishing fees were enormous, etc
from Bob to Everyone:
Would this sort of error show up in a pseudo loc test?
from Bob to Everyone:
So wouldn’t content tool selection be part of your internationalization review?


The tools you use for localization, make sure you have the same tools, software. Font is a major issue. Someone will has to bear the cost of it.
Siemens font is customized and weighs 25MB! Think about loading that onto a mobile device or deliver within web content. And think about all the other languages that have to be represented in that font; cyrillic, japanese, etc.

Priority vs severity of a bug
Severity
1: sys crash or data loss, major legal problem, geopolitical issue
2: major funcitonality loss
3: minor issues, cosmetic problems

Priority
1: fix as soon as possible
2: fix soon
3: fix if time permits

Status of bug
Active: bug still needs to be looked at or worked on
Resolved: bug has been investigated and worked on; a decision has been made to either correct it or postpone it
Closed: the resolution of the bug has been verified by the person who ORIGINALLY opened the bug

Resolution
Fixed; corrected
Not reproduceable; could not reproduce
External; this is a dependency on an external partner and does not affect any code or component inside your product
Postponed; bug is postponed
Won’t fix; bug that is minor and will probably disappear by the next version
By Design
Duplicate

Reasons not to fix; cost, priority, risk of breaking the software or introducing more bugs

<what about the person who put together the spec and signed off on the contract doesn’t know so well about the internationalization process and the kind of bugs you would find, and the bug list becomes a battlefield. >

Types of bugs we care about
Globalization; this is code problem with the core sw
Localizability; what is my ability to translate this? Is it easy enough to do with my existing process? embedding HTML 5 in the the .dll file…it won’t load the HTML5. sofware works fine, but cant efficiently localize. screen saver file name, if you put a code like the fish name, then it can be done. it adds work for the team.
Localization; Linguistic and Functional. For functional testers; they will use Eng app on one side and another language on the right and do the same test on the localized file. Linguistic testing need to be a native.

Type of Bugs
Localization (L10n) bugs; are usually language specific. translation strings issue. (Microsoft calls it Globalization) and in one language
Internalization (i18n) bugs

Examples of International bugs
– text not displayed correctly
– truncated text in dialog boxes or buttons, there was not enough allowance made for text expansion
– system crashes; longer translated strings overrun the buffer. if the translation has more characters than expected.
– translated text isnt grammatically correct or makes no sense; soncatenated strings
– locale (dates, time, currency, etc) info is incorrectly formatted; data may be hard coded. You need to keep an eye on those programmers to make sure they do that. There are often several ways to code things like that and the international versions are sometimes more complicated to use.
– functionality problems; functionality (in hot keys, etc) may rely on some strings being identical
when designing a dialog box, allow for additional space for the languages that use up more space

Over Localization
when non localizable resources are translated and it breaks functionality
Non localizable strings may include;
-folder names (or maybe anchor links)
– registry keys
– Microsoft “Word” shouldn’t be localized

so sometimes you need to pull out those strings (such as the word “jabber”) from the translation file

Sometimes words from one language are not usable in some other languages…. like the word bing
from Divya Addepalli to Everyone:
MS Bing
from Divya Addepalli to Everyone:
meant something like disease or something …. I am not sure
from Divya Addepalli to Everyone:
And there are so many such terms in the Indian languages that we can not use in other indian lanuages
from Michael Maas to Everyone:
Interesting…
from Divya Addepalli to Everyone:
Sometimes becuase of the different dialects in the same language
from Bob to Everyone:
My documents
from Michael Maas to Everyone:
That is a good one.
from Michael Maas to Everyone:
That is prolly why it is a “special” folder with a UID reference.
from Bob to Everyone:
But if you’re documenting it, you’d need to know whether it should be translated in the documentation or not. That would trip me up!
Just another example of how you can’t just “bolt-on” localization at the end 🙂
If you are referencing it in documentation to the end user, you may be fine with leaving it in English.

Best Practice – prevention!
educate developer about globalization and localizability best practices. so separate out, okay this is a parameter name, the is a reference tag link, so we define those elements so people, translator know what to translate.
test and fix intl bugs before localization begins
encourage pseduo-localized build testing before localization effort starts; take a language and run a pilot project, even if you only have one week to do tests. in the end this will save you a lot of money. you don’t want to have that bug in all languages. you want to find it early on.

Cost of fixing international issues; cost goes up as you get through the different phases, from design, coding, testing, localization. YOU WANT TO DO INTERNATIONLIZATION TESTING
the way you work it out is by looking at the expectations of how much intlization awareness they have. if they have never done it befoer, then you quote more hours for bug fixing.

software testing, bug tracking; http://www.softwaretestingstuff.com/2007/10/mercury-quality-centre.html

Purpose of bug triaging
– understand real project status
– move the sw project towards stabilization
– manage risk
– inform stakeholders

Members of BRC
-QA
– Engineering
– Product mgmt
– Project mgmt
– other stakeholders

Role LPM
– driver
– communication & coordination
– facilitate other roles
– ensure things are done as scheduled

Working with client test team
-get time est for testing, and allow enough time!! TEST, like localization often gets squeezed in at end of project. what is my testing scope? what have i cut out to do. squeezing more tasks in the last part of schedule
– are their tools globalized?
– how best to file localizability and globalization

Working with test vendors
– trends; functional and linguistic testing is often outsourced to china, india or eastern europe
– provide clear hand off, training and schedule to vendors
– detailed checklists/test plans to distinguish test coverage (make sure you are using the same measures)
– provide sample reports, explicit process for logging bugs. be clear. you have to frame exactly how you want the bugs to be reported, especially the description field or the bug report.
– be aware of infrastructure limitations
– keep them in the loop

Types of testing and ownership
– US/client test team generally owns
– intl sufficiency functional testing
– globalization testing
– localizability

– localization testing owns the UI,

Managing bugs
You only know if your project is on track if you a good
You need to categorize the bugs

reference i found; http://netbeans.org/community/issues.html

style guide from bbc-global-experience-language

I recently had to do some research on style guides for websites and I came across some wonderful references. It is so generous of the designers to take the time to post their experiences and knowledge for the greater good of the design community. All I can say is thank you and here again I share them.

http://24ways.org/2011/front-end-style-guides

Anna Debenham is a freelance front-end developer and I put her link at the top as it is the most thorough article I found that discusses the different type of style guides that one might need to create.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/gel/web/foundations/universal-grid/the-grid

The BBC’s online style guide is one of Anna’s favorite references and I can see why. It is so easy to digest the information.

And some others to check out;

http://imjustcreative.com/front-end-style-guides/2011/12/07/

http://www.gossamer-threads.com/blog/the-benefits-of-style-guides/

http://noelenefajardo.com/blog/2011/07/13/website-style-guides/

http://www.juliebevacqua.com/praise-to-the-website-style-guide/

And social media and some other types of style guides:

http://meetcontent.com/creating-a-social-media-style-guide/

http://meetcontent.com/elements-of-editorial-style-for-the-web/

http://webcontentblog.com/content-strategy/

Product pages for e-commerce websites are often rife with ambitions: recreate the brick-and-mortar shopping experience, provide users with every last drop of product information, build a brand persona, establish a seamless check-out process.

As the “strong link in any conversion,” product pages have so much potential. We can create user-centric descriptions and layouts that are downright appropriate in their effectiveness: as Erin Kissane says, “offering [users] precisely what they need, exactly when they need it, and in just the right form.”

Beyond that, a user-centered creation process for product pages can help brand the information as well as reduce the content clutter that so often bogs down retail websites.

User-centric product copy garners positive results because it anticipates the user’s immediate reaction. As Dr. Timo Saari and Dr. Marko Turpeinen, authors of “Towards Psychological Customization of Information for Individuals and Social Groups” suggest, individual differences in processing information implicates dramatic variances in type and/or intensity of psychological effects, such as positive emotion, persuasion, and depth of learning (2).

We can describe products in various ways. Highlighting certain aspects of a product will elicit different reactions from various users. Gearing product descriptions to a particular audience encourages those users to effectively process the information, heightens persuasion, and increases the potential to predict what the users want (but didn’t know they needed). The effort required of user-centric product descriptions demands that we understand how certain descriptors, contexts and inclusions of details affect the target user, and that we then put our discoveries into action.

This article offers a user-centric guide to producing product pages and provides examples of successful e-commerce websites that present user-centric approaches to product page descriptions and layouts.

[Editor’s note: Have you already got your copy of our Printed Smashing Book #2? The book covers best practices and techniques for professional Web designers and developers.]

Get To Know Your User

Approaching product page description and layout from a user-centric perspective demands that we have a rich understanding of the target user. As Saari and Turpeinen suggest, Web customization starts with some type of model, be it individual, group or community. With your user models in place, you can best assess what they need and how to write for them.

In her book Letting Go of the Words, Web usability expert Janice Redish suggests these strategies for getting to know your target user:

Scope the email responses that come through the website’s “Contact Us” form and other feedback links. Consider the profiles of the senders. You can discover commonalities in lifestyle, technological capability, education level and communication preference through these channels.

Talk to the customer service or marketing employees at your company. Don’t approach them with a broad demand to describe the typical client. Rather, ask questions about their interactions with clients. Who is calling in? Who is stopping by the office? What queries and complaints are common?

Offer short questionnaires to visitors to the website. Redish suggests asking people “a few questions about themselves, why they came to the site, and whether they were successful in finding what they came for.”

If possible, acquire a sense of the client simply by observing the people who walk through the front doors of the business. This is a great way to pick up on key phrases, jargon, emotional behavior and demographics.

Once you’re able to confidently brainstorm the major characteristics of your target user or group, then developing the models to guide the writing process comes next.

Keep in mind that gathering and compiling this information can take as little or as big an investment of time and money as you (or the client) can afford and still be effective. As Leonard Souza recently noted, even stopping in a nearby coffee shop to engage five to ten people in your target demographic can yield useful insight. With a bit of flexibility, you can find learning opportunities that are convenient and on the cheap.

The models created from your user research can be fashioned into personas, which Souza describes as “tools for creating empathy among everyone in the project.” Use personas to guide user-centric copywriting by establishing very specific user goals and preferences.

A persona is a fictional person amalgamated from the characteristics of your target user. You can get creative here with the persona’s name and image, but not too creative. The persona must be mindfully constructed according to the age, education, family status and other personal details culled from your research.

Now that you have a persona to please as you construct a product description and layout hierarchy, staying user-centric is that much easier. Take a look at the product description from Lululemon, a British Columbia-based yoga-wear retailer:

Product description from Shop.lululemon.com

The product description assumes that the reader knows a specific set of jargon: How many non-yoga participants would know what downward-dog means? Or “pipes”, as the “Key Features” section refers to arms? This content drives right to the needs and preferences of a very specific user. She wants warmth (four of the “Key Features” note the thermal quality of the product), convenience (pre-shrunk fabric, easy layering), and motivation for an active lifestyle (she recognizes the yoga jargon and enjoys giving her “pipes some air time”).

A rich understanding of the user has made this product page effective and delightfully specific to both the user and the brand.

Master S.M.A.R.T. Content and Layout

Without specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and trackable user goals driving the copy on the product page, the information will sag. I draw here from Dickson Fong’s enlightening article “The S.M.A.R.T. User Experience Strategy“ to suggest that care should be taken to develop user goals that guide the writing process for product pages.

The S.M.A.R.T. formula will keep you on track as you plot out product details and decide what descriptive angle to use.

Fong provides an excellent user goal for a product page: “I want to learn more about this product’s design, features and specifications to determine whether it fits my budget, needs and preferences.”

This will help you create a checklist when assessing what to present first and what to offer as optional information when structuring the layout of the page (more about that in the “Create Information Hierarchies” section below). It provides direction when you’re writing content and helps you focus on the benefits to the user. And as Darlene Maciuba-Koppel suggests in The Web Writer’s Guide, “In copywriting, your end goal is to sell benefits, not products, in your copy.”

For users, benefits and accomplished goals go hand in hand. A product that doesn’t fit their budget, needs or preferences offers them little benefit. So, in order for S.M.A.R.T. goal-driven product pages to serve user-centric purposes, the text must follow suit. Fong suggests presenting relevant content details that are specific to the consumer of that product type.

Let’s take Fong’s S.M.A.R.T. user goal for product pages and assess the specifications at play on the following two pages from Dell:

Product page for Alienware on Dell.com

Featured on Alienware, Dell’s computer subsidiary for high-performance gaming, the description for this desktop computer has been tailored to the primary browsing goal of a very specific user. The needs and preferences of the user have already been predicted in the bullet-point outline, highlighting optimum graphics and top-notch liquid-cooling capabilities, thus harmonizing the checklist of features with a checklist of benefits for the user. A number of the product’s features could have been highlighted, but for optimal ease, the specifics most likely to help the user accomplish their goals are featured.

With the next Dell desktop computer, another goal of the target user is covered in the description:

Product page description for Inspiron 570 on Dell.com

With a noticeable absence of technical details and a heavy emphasis on product personalization, this description plays to a user with very different needs than the Alienware shopper’s. Even the tabs have been re-arranged to best meet the user’s goals. The Inspiron 570 page shows “Customer ratings” as the first tab, while the Alienware page offers “Design” first and then “Tech specs.”

These decisions are all geared to accomplishing very specific user goals: find the required information and assess the benefits.

  • Use Personal Pronouns
  • Consider again Dell’s description of its Inspiron 570:
  • Make It Yours

The Inspiron 570 desktop is everything you want and nothing you don’t. Available in vibrant colors, so you can complement your style or stand out from the crowd. Plus, you can build your desktop according to your needs with a choice of multiple AMD processors and NVIDIA ATI graphics cards as well as other customizable features. So whether you are surfing the Web, emailing friends and family, downloading music and photos or blogging about it all, the Inspiron 570 desktop can handle it.

Your wants, your style, your needs, your friends and your Internet past-times. Including the title, eight instances of “you” or “your” turn up in this 86-word segment!

Personal pronouns in product descriptions are perfectly appropriate and quite effective at engaging users, because, as Redish states, “People are much more likely to take in [messages] if you write with ‘you’ because they can see themselves in the text.”

With Dell’s content, the personal pronouns target a specific user (one who is savvy enough to download music and email and who is interested in customization and feeling unique), while also managing a broad gender appeal.

Outdoor equipment retailer REI employs personal pronouns in its online product descriptions, creating dynamic scenarios aimed at a specific user:

Product description for REI.com

The description asserts that this canoe will help you navigate a waterway that “you’ve recently noticed,” anticipating a specific user reality (or dream).

The product showcase is devoted to the user’s needs and showing how the user will benefit from purchasing the canoe. Using “you” is the clearest and most direct way for this retailer to grab the user’s attention and to convince them, at any time of the year, that this canoe is the right buy.

Angie King backs this up in her article “Personal Pronouns: It’s Okay to Own Your Web Copy.” She suggests that using first- and second-person pronouns helps users connect with the content, and “reflect[s] the way real people write and speak,” fostering an immediate connection.

For a product description to speak directly to a specific user or group, the “you’s” should flow freely.

Use Information Hierarchies

Adopting a user-centric approach to the layout and copy of product pages helps you tackle the challenge articulated by Kean Richmond: “How do you cram so much information into a single Web page?”

In addition to technical specifications, shipping information, item details and preference options (and don’t forget that compelling product description), product pages must also list every describable service that the product performs for its user, including customer benefits (as Darlene Maciuba-Koppel explains, too).

By all means, provide the user with every last detail possible. Answer every conceivable question, or make the answer visible for discovery. Do so with information hierarchies that are based on a rich understanding of targeted users. This will keep each page tidy and drive users to complete your business goals.

In a structure in which, as Kean Richmond states, “all the important information is at the top and [the rest] flows naturally down the page,” details that might not be a top priority for the target user can be tucked into optional tabs or presented at the bottom of the page. The key is to gauge the structure of the page with the sensibilities of the targeted user in mind.

Look At User Context

Here’s where you become a mind-reader of sorts. Erin Kissane points to the approach of content strategist Daniel Eizan in understanding what specific users need to see on the page in order to be drawn into the information. Eizan looks at the user’s context to gauge their Web-browsing behaviors. Eizan asks, What are they doing? How are they feeling? What are they capable of?

Establishing user context aids in planning an information hierarchy, and it is demonstrated by small and large e-retailers. On the big-box side, we have Walmart:

By making the price and product name (including the unit number per order) immediately visible, Walmart has anticipated a possible user context. A Walmart visitor searching for granola bars has perhaps purchased the product before. With the unit price made visible, perhaps the anticipated user is judging the product based on whether this box size will suffice.

Details such as “Item description” and “Specifications” are options that are convenient to the user who is making a large order of a familiar product.

The user’s context shapes the hierarchy: the user seeks a quick calculation of units per product versus price. The targeted user does not immediately need an ingredients list, allergy information or a description of the flavor. But if they do, they are available in a neat options-based format.

Walmart has built its reputation on “Everyday low prices,” and the brick-and-mortar philosophy has crossed over to its website. Walmart anticipates users who have some familiarity with its products and who have expectations of certain price points. These factors play into the information hierarchy across the website.

Now look at the product page of a different kind of retailer, nutrition bar manufacturer Larabar:

Cashew Cookie product page from Larabar.com

Here is an online presentation of a retail product that is similar to Walmart’s Nature Valley granola bar (though some might argue otherwise).¬†However, the information hierarchy clearly speaks to a different user — a specific user, one who might be looking for gluten-free snack foods or a vegan protein solution. The Larabar user’s context is much less urgent than the Walmart user’s. The product page does not reveal pricing or unit number. Ingredients are visible here, with simple images that (when scrolled over) provide additional nutritional information.

The anticipated user has more time to peruse, to browse several varieties of product, and to read the delightful descriptions that help them imagine the tastes and textures of the bars.

This user might be very much like the targeted Walmart user but is likely visiting the Larabar website in a different context. This product page offers more immediate information on nutrition and taste, selling to a user who is perhaps hunting for a solution to a dietary restriction or for a healthy snack alternative.

However, the red-boxed “Buy Now” is positioned in a memorable, convenient spot on the page, leaving no guessing for the user, who, after reading a description of this healthy bar full of “rich and creamy flavor,” will likely click it to find out the purchasing options.

With these two pages for (arguably) similar products, we see two completely different ways to structure product details.

Both are effective — for their targeted users. A person seeking gluten-free snacks for a camping trip might be frustrated having to search through the hundreds of granola bar options on Walmart’s website. But they wouldn’t be going there in the first place; they would use a search engine and would find Larabar.

Information hierarchy solves the content-overload challenge that can overshadow the process of constructing a product page, and it is an opportunity to bolster user-centric copy and layout. As mentioned, the key is to gauge the user’s context.

Conclusion

While a user-centric consideration of product pages is not the only way to go, it does provide a focused approach that has appeared to be effective for some pretty successful e-commerce players. Consistency in product pages is key, especially when building a brand’s presence; a reliable guide can ease the writing process. The user-centric method does require some primary research, but this lays a sturdy foundation by which to gauge every bit of content on the page according to how it benefits the user.

As Maciuba-Koppel says, as a content writer or designer, your goal should not be to sell products, but to sell benefits.
(courtesy of Smashing Magazine)