You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘localization’ category.

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

Below is an example email to a client explaining the localization process.

Hi Maren,

I am the International Project Manager here at Ashbury Designs. Scott mentioned you would be contacting me. I worked with Scott on the globalization of the Windows Kinect product.

Below is a brief explanation to help you get an idea of the process and deliverables from a broad perspective or what Americans sometimes call the “10,000 ft view”. Much of this is project management information that you are already familiar with, but what will be new to you is the aspect relating to globalization. I don’t want to bore you so I have focused on how the globalization project will differ from a single language product launch. I will also send you my MS Project doc from the project that Scott and I worked on to give you an idea of the timeline and the milestones that get added to a globalization project.

I hear that the product is nearing the GUI freeze stage. I am really glad that you have contacted me while the application is still in development. This will give us a chance to catch any globalization bugs that might be in the code before we start in on the translations of the application.

Scott and some other teams at Microsoft really appreciated our flexibility in accommodating the different project management styles at Microsoft (agile, just-in-time, waterfall). We have been in the localization business for more than 10 years and have developed a network of top-notch vendors that we work with. This network is here for us to leverage, to make sure your application puts its best foot forward in each regional market that it enters. The additional advantage is the lessons we learned from working on previous Microsoft projects.

Collaboration

I would like to get together with you in person to introduce you to the world I live and breathe, the world of localization. I can answer more in depth any questions you have. In preparation, think about how involved you would like to be, how you prefer to communicate in terms of frequency, and forms of communication (emails, standing meetings, virtual meetings, Sharepoint, Dropbox, etc).

User Experience

And last but not least, I would like to learn more about your product, the users and your competitors. It would be great to find out who your core target users are and how much you know about them. This will help us to stay focussed on the customer and to identify things we can do in localization that will reinforce our commitment to a quality customer experience. For example, understanding your users in each region will help us to determine which style of translators we should work with and whether or not your existing imagery will be an issue for any of the target regions.

Next Steps

The most immediate action items would be:

1) For your localization engineer or one of your lead engineers to send me a sample build of the app. and a test case scenario if you have one. This will give us a chance to analyze the localizability of the source files.

2) For both International Project Managers (that would be you and I) to go over where you are in your schedule, talk about budget, file formats, tools and how you would like to communicate with our team.

Once we get our schedule, process and structure set up it would be great to have a kickoff meeting with our teams, including all stakeholders and people that might be impacted by the project.

We look forward to working with you!

Megan

PROCESS

Starting the Project….. the Initiation Phase

Charter: This is part of our required documents and will give us the authority to begin work.  A brief project charter is essential and does not have to be lengthy. This will document your business needs, current understanding of the customer’s needs, and the new product, service, or result that the project is intended to satisfy.

Organizing and Preparing…..the Planning Phase

Scope Statement: The inputs we look for in a scope statement are:

Project’s Product – a summary of the Product Description or Specification.

Project Objectives – the quantifiable criteria that must be met for the project to be considered successful.

Project Deliverables – a list of deliverables whose delivery marks completion of an activity or project.

Project Driver – identify what is the single most important factor for management of this project (cost, quality, time)

Assumptions and Constraints

You will want to include a product analysis, a cost/benefit analysis, and an alternative analysis. For cost benefit, you might want to look at the cost of localizing your product, entering a new market and supporting it long term. Look at the country’s GDP and the size of the opportunity for going into that market. This may lead you to consider a joint venture for customer service and shipping or to decide that you actually don’t want to enter a certain region’s market. What is Microsoft’s reputation in that region.

Work Breakdown Structure: By walking through the project once and identifying all the tasks this will help you lock down the cost and schedule for the project. Additionally it will make it a lot easier to go through the second time around when in execution phase.

Scope: Identify the number of markets, list of components, estimated word count per component, and a list of deliverables.

Responsibility Assignment Matrix: Let us know who will be on the team (include people who are to be Responsible, Accountable, Consultants, Informed, and even those people whom you know do not need to be involved). Identify the role of the different stake holders in each of the tasks.

For localization, In terms of the engineer that you assign for this project, it is critical that we work with the most knowledgeable and experienced engineer you have as this person’s knowledge & efficiency will exponentially effect efficiency on both sides, in terms of time and cost. On my side I will guarantee to putting my most experienced team of engineers, testers, translators, and terminologist onto this project. That way we can ensure a good working relationship with less chance of that exponential error occurring after translations have taken place.

Schedule: Define dates and resources that will be performing each task. We will obviously need both the product schedule and your localization team schedule. I will then list the milestones in my localization schedule doc and put in your milestones. We encourage you to use the Critical Path Method (CPM) for estimating start dates, sequence and duration of tasks. We are also familiar with the Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)

Cost: We would prefer to do a bottom up approach to estimating for this project, where we would leverage the information gathered such as Work Breakdown Structure, resource requirements, rates and any constraints of the project. We like to be transparent about our process for costing. Our rule of thumb for translation is as follows:

If that is not possible and you have a set budget, we can work with that number to tell you what can be delivered for that amount.

Carrying Out the Work…..the Execution Phase

Below are the main sequential steps.

1) Globalization review

2) Pseudo testing: I mentioned this in the email. It is the simulation of the localization process, using a pseudo language for automatic “translation”. It enables the testing of a product for its localizability.

3) Create and prepare terminology/recycling: We will create a terminology database that we can leverage throughout the project to ensure consistency in vocabulary and terms.

4) Choosing/testing tools: We use Catalyst for

5) Localization kick off – very important

6) Handoff and hardback processing time – Please add additional time for this as we will be working with translators in 5 different countries and the time zones will cause a slight lag in response time.

7) Sample hand back for QA

8) Bug fixing

Localization Kit: These are the things the vendor (Ashbury Designs) will need to get started.

  • What file formats are being used
  • What words in each string are NOT to be localized
  • What string rules are to be followed
  • How to deal with localization of error messages (verbosity, terminology, are they referring to code specific technologies?)
  • Provide any information to provide contextual information of the resources
  • Provide screenshots of where problem strings are being used. Will probably be asked by vendor during translation

Auto Translation: Our team leverages auto translation tools. Auto translation (AT) is the best kind of translation technology (other than human translation) because it has a very low-cost to implement and verify. The basic idea is that if the localization tool finds an existing localized string that matches a non-localized one, it will localize the string using the already translated string. We pass on the benefits of AT to you by charging you a reduce rate for this service.

Monitoring and Controlling

This is required to track, review, and regulate the progress and performance of the project; to identify any areas in which changes to the plan are required; and to initiate the corresponding changes. This includes scope, cost, risks, procurements, quality, and time. With localization the areas that often require close attention are;

  • Initial product design
  • Tool/file type incompatibility
  • Unclear or missing processes
  • Communication style and Cultural differences
  • Changes to US product
  • US product schedule
  • Client/vendor relationship

After translation, errors will usually be generated when running the localized files in the build. This is because of the nature of utilizing different languages in the same interface, human errors, unclear localization instructions, etc. We will be happy to resolve any issues related to the resources localized such as: resizing of dialog boxes & interface components, shortcut issues, and over localization

Project Performance Measurement

Probably the most valuable tool for you as the client is something called Cost Performance Index (CPI) Schedule Performance Index (SPI). The formula is:

Closing the Project

At this point we have already ensured that the product meets all the requirements of the stakeholders and customers. You inspect the product in detail. We will formally hand over the final product.

Lesson Learned: It is good to document the causes of variances, the reasoning behind the corrective action chosen, and other types of lessons learned so they became part of the historical database.

Archive Project Documentation: This is the process of finalizing all activities across all of the management Process Groups to formally complete the project.

Product Deliverables

  • Scope Statement
  • Pseudo Build with Test Case
  • Work Breakdown Structure
  • Schedule: Based on WBS
  • Cost Estimate: Based on Schedule
  • Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM)

 

211.org: How User Experience Research Can Improve
Site Functionality and Drive More Traffic

by Megan Finaly | UX Designer
December 2011

211.org is a national organization that helps people in need find social services. This nonprofit is well positioned to be able to better serve its target audiences with some simple modifications to the design and navigation of its website. New immigrants represent a growing segment of 211’s users; changes to the website could address the different ways these immigrants are used to interacting with technology.

The rapid diffusion and adoption of internet and cell phone usage around the world has made them both indispensable tools. And now with the use of smartphones and widely available access to the web via wi-fi and computers at libraries, 211.org is positioned to serve even more people in need. 211 could even increase the number of users of its website dramatically and introduce relevant, targeted advertising. Based on ethnographic observations, surveys, and contextual interviews, this report provides some recommendations.

Method

Using the Rapid Contextual Design approach, by Holtzblatt, Wendell, & Wood (2005) along with data received from the 211 office, I evaluated how people are currently using 211.org. Then I chose a subset of what I believe should be 211’s key users: immigrants, specifically Nepali immigrants in King County and I observed how they live with technology. I met with twenty Nepalis and contextually interviewed five. Using my laptop and SurveyMonkey I asked nine questions about their gender, age, employment, living situation,  social networking tools, and how they get help, both in Nepal and in the U.S. This method created an atmosphere that encouraged the interviewees to talk more openly and to elaborate on the questions that were asked in the survey.

There are many factors to consider that were outside the scope of my research, such as;  an indepth study of cultural differences in perception, aesthetics, and interpretation, cultivating trust and acceptance through use of design elements (alignment, proximity, repetition, contrast, color palette). This report does not cover the process for translating and managing the localization of content.  However my study of these cultural differences and similarities (1995, Hoft. 2010, Hofstede) did provide guidance for the redesign of 211.org.

I did a task analysis of the current 211.org site with three female participants aged 17-29 years old. Using a paper prototype translated in to Nepali, they were asked to locate the Kent Food Bank & Emergency Services, which is where we conducted the test. The results are discussed on page three.

As found by Gould, “countries can be grouped together in useful typologies–democratic, socialist, authoritarian, and so forth. Within cultures, individuals cover a wide spectrum of belief and behavior but, in the aggregate, they cluster together and these clusters display a surprising amount of stability. Cultural anthropology can provide useful insights into designing interfaces for specific countries, but theories from the field of intercultural communication are generally better for culturally diverse audiences. Most designers do not have the mandate to develop entirely different products for each national or ethnic market. Intercultural communication theory makes it possible for them to focus on a few crucial variations” (2005, Gould).

With research using a model of culture, designers can identify;

•  Global information that can be put into the interface without requiring future translation.
•  Cultural bias in the existing site.
•  Parts of the site that should be localized for a specific culture.
•  Compelling cultural metaphors and cultural markers (2005, Aykin. 1995, Hoft.)

Background

In 2010, 2-1-1 services in the United States answered more than 16.4 million calls. 211 is an umbrella group that connects people to local groups in their county.  They provide quick and easy access to information for those relocating to a new community and not settled into their new residences. Services include help finding food, housing, employment or money to pay electric bills. The last major redesign of 211.org was done in April of 2009. Very little research is currently available on the site’s target audiences, personas or task flows.

The United States has the fifth largest population of Nepalis outside of Nepal. There are 110,616 Nepali immigrants living in the United States.  They share common language and culture with main stream Nepal. As of June 20, 2010, 27,926 Nepali-Bhutanese have been resettled in the USA. It is estimated that around 50,000 of the current worldwide Bhutanese refugees will eventually be in U.S. There are over 2,000 Nepalis living in the King County area. (2011, Wikipedia).

Audience Analysis: Nepali Immigrants 

Nepali people have a basic distrust of information that does not come from known sources such as from friends or family.  Nepali people come from a very tight culture meaning they “have many strong norms and a low tolerance of deviant behavior,” while “loose” cultures “have weak social norms and a high tolerance of deviant behavior”.  The neighboring country of Pakistan is the “tightest” nation which Gelfand sampled (2011, Gelfand).

The Nepali people have a collectivist mindset and a high context culture. Their nature is towards interdependence as opposed to the Americans who tend to be more independent in thought and action.  Along with the language barrier and difficulty understanding the American accents, this hesitancy makes it difficult for Nepalis to attain the basic services they need to thrive in their new country.

A survey done in 2010 in Kathmandu, found that 44.85 percent Nepali consumers were cheated due to their lack of awareness, and 39.83 percent have been victim of illegal activities. They come from a culture where crimes and injustices are rarely reported and therefore feel it is best to rely on recommendations from friends and family. (2011, Shreshta)

All of the people I interviewed did not have a laptop when they came to the U.S. All but two interviewees did not know about public access to computers at libraries. In 2005, there were 7 computers or laptops for every 100 people in the U.S. whereas in Nepal there were .48 computers or laptops for every 100 Nepalis (2011, Wikipedia). Instead, the vast majority of Nepali immigrants rely on their cell phone to stay connected and to get referrals for basic needs.

Many non-profits in the U.S. are not allowed to help illegal immigrants so this alienates them further. The organizations that the interviewees mentioned the most were Refuge Women’s Alliance,  Asian Counseling and Referral Service, NepalSeattle.org, and Northwestsherpa.org.

Nepali Findings;

It was apparent that the difference between American and Nepali cultures was creating a barrier to Nepali people finding and using 211.org.

Common Body of Knowledge
Knowing a country or culture’s common body of knowledge can be useful information when determining for example what to expect of internet users from that country. In the case of Nepalis, only one of the interview participants knew about 211.org, while all participants knew about 911. Two of the people I interviewed had used the library for accessing the internet. All of the interviewees listed Facebook as their first choice for the social networking site that they use the most.

Language and Literacy
Not all Nepalis were comfortable writing or reading Nepali since some of them did not complete their elementary schooling. It was explained to me also that the style of Nepali writing prevalent online is more formal than many of the immigrants were comfortable with in terms of reading and comprehending.

Technology and Computer Literacy
Regarding the results of the three paper prototype participants in locating the Kent Food Bank & Emergency Services, all three were unsuccessful. All had to use the back button and it was apparent they were not confident in their choices and were guessing.  Three of the interviewees had trouble understanding the meaning behind certain button functions such as “apply” or “submit” which caused them to hesitate. The same three also did not understand how to implement a multi-step search function that invovled choosing between two radio buttons and typing in a keyword. The sign in option was confusing for one participant who thought she had to sign in to use the search tool.

While this question was not in the survey, I noticed that most of the men had cell phones with text messaging, and a very few had smart phones that allowed for internet browsing. Most of the women had cell phones with text msging, but not smart phones. Nepalis aged 18 and younger were much more comfortable using the internet to get information or for social networking. Men spent more time on the computer (surfing the web, paying bills) than women.

The Nepali culture is a high-context culture which revolves around personal contacts and, as the internet is a relatively impersonal medium, attempts to automate processes and transactions are not likely to be well received” (1998, Samiee). Based on  Hall’s constructs (monochromic and polychromic, doing one thing at a time versus many things; proxemics, social use of space and context) in high-context societies, a message’s actual text is secondary.  This is the case with the Nepali people where they rely heavily on visual cues and photos. While in the U.S. a  low-context society, the information is explicitly expressed in the text of the message.

According to Gould, “the ‘architecture’ of a web page may differ in terms of color, mass, and balance between verbal and visual elements. Many American web sites currently sport subdued hues, arrange content in explicit hierarchies of indentation, and emphasize text over graphics. Web sites from other countries appear visually striking if they upset American expectations by using vivid colors, an asymmetric arrangement, or more graphics than text. Appropriate content may also vary. Text that lacks formal historical grounding will be unpersuasive to people who rely on tradition to justify their actions. Moreover, presentation and content may interact. Pictures that are read individually in one country can become part of an unintentional collage of meaning in another.” (2005, Gould)

What changes could be made to the site to cross the cultural divide? 

According to the Global Web Index (2011), more people are coming to trust online reviews, forums, and social media such as Blog Author and Consumer Review Online.  How does 211.org and its information fit into the lives of immigrants? It could become the virtual gateway for guiding immigrants through the United States’ infrastructure and ultimately could speed their adaptation to the American culture. According to research done by Nancy Hoft, localization helps overcome inherent resistance by making the interface secondary (hidden) to the user’s task of locating information or a service (1995, Hoft). Non-profits such as IRC and World Relief have an advantage here because they are recognised entities with existing offline and online relationships.

How to Drive More Traffic

I believe we can introduce a more entrepreneurial mindset to the non-profit arena. Any group that has a steady flow of users or that has built up a critical mass has created a ‘market’ just like any retail business. It is from this foundation that the directors of non-profits should be moving aggressively to help their customers in new and innovative ways. I don’t believe that these more corporate-like objectives weaken their potential impact on 211 as an organization. As the real estate motto has been “Location, location, location!” the internet motto is now “Information, information, information”, not just regurgitated reports or contact information, but current information about what services non-profits are providing. For example, which shelter has beds available tonight, which pantry is serving hot food, or where can I find a weekend job doing labor, child care or catering?

Please view online at: http://ashburydesigns.com/clients/211/redesign_proposal/index.html  The comp for the Nepali language page is in English for the purpose of understanding content and functionality.

Now that many non profit website use Twitter, WordPress or other Content Management Systems, 211.org could request RSS feeds or Tweets that publish regularly updated information from the various non profits. With a combination of fresh information and improved search engine optimization, 211.org could dramatically increase its traffic and eventually add some advertisements deeper in the architecture of their site which could bring in some revenue for the organization. Non-profits such as the International Rescue Committee (which has been in existence for 75 years) and World Relief have the resources and connections to develop rich content.

Suggested Site Changes

1) The biggest change would be to allow users to choose their language preference by creating a gateway page with all the main languages used by King County’s immigrant population (Spanish, Somalian, Bhutanese, Iraqi, Japanese, Chinese, Nepali, Ethiopian, Korean) From here each page can make culturally appropriate adjustment to icons, color, spacing, photo usage and so on.  Once the site switches to their native language, the primary difference would be that the search and navigation functions would be in their native language while much of the content would remain in English unless it is coming, for example, from a Nepali source.

2) Remove all competing nonprofit logos and branding except 211. 211 needs to build trust by showing a solid, singular and unified brand.

3) Create supplement visuals to the existing logo that explains what 211 delivers: 211 = (3 small icons –> icon of a bed, icon representing food such as a bowl of rice or a plate with knife and fork, icon of a worker or of two heads talking to each other). Just as we rely on the envelope icon to tell us that is the link to email and the red cross represents medical help, 211 can create icons that are more universally understood.

4) Drilling down to the Nepalese 211 homepage for King County, I would suggest adding audio recordings for directions on using the search tools.

5) The search tools should offer two main paths or tabs along with a permanent search box in the upper right of page;

• A to Z non-profit listing with the group’s logo for using as a visual cue
• Browse Topics options which would use the latin based A-Z alphabet

6) If possible, I would add the Devanagari-based (alphabet) translation to those non-profits that serve the Nepali or Sherpa community. The Devanagari will catch their eye and will be easier to scan the pages. Also previous users can tell their friends to look for the Devanagari on the page.

Conclusion

The United States with the cooperation of the government and non-profits could set the tone for how we welcome a diverse workforce, whether they start out unskilled or bring with them the skills we seek. The new global population seems to care less about their country of residence and more about the quality of their lives. I found that the Nepali people have an extremely strong work ethic, rarely get sick and would be an asset to any economy. Just as we created Foreign Service diplomats and trained them to work effectively overseas, the 211.org website should serve as the gateway to immigrants to the United States.

As stated by an Indian entrepreneur, Shibulal (2011), ‘We must remember that the consequences of economic disparity will not leave us alone. It will catch up with us through rising crime rates, violence, vandalism, social unrest and other desperate measures. The true success of Bangalore, lies not only in fuelling the dreams of visionaries but also fulfilling its responsibility to give hope to the underprivileged. This is where each one of us has to fulfill our unwritten social contract — to give back to the society in which we operate.’ The same applies to Seattle and the greater area. With the growing and ongoing economic downturn, there are a large number of not only Americans, but also immigrants who are in need of these services, yet are unaware of 211 and 211.org.

References

211.org. Caller Data for the month of July. pdf. 2011.

Aykin, Nuray. Usability and internationalization of information technology. 2005.

Easterling, Dana interview. 211 Manager. King County. 2011.

Gelfand Ph. D., Michele and colleagues,  Differences Between Tight and Loose Cultures: A 33-Nation Study. May 2011 issue of      Science Magazine (sciencemag.org)

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The foundation of our project is set in the exploration of differences between the United States and Japan. Keying off the “Onion Model” outlined in the Hofstede reading, we zeroed in on the heroes layer and identified a representative archetype for both countries: the cowboy for the United States, and the samurai for Japan. We examine these icons under the lenses of individualism, power distance, and uncertainty avoidance. In an effort to draw out the differences along these dimensions, we’ve portrayed three pairs of contrasting scenes from the lives of both a cowboy and a samurai.

http://www.tellouslabs.com/grad/512/CowboySamurai/launcher.html

Hofstede defines heroes as “persons, alive or dead, real or imaginary, who possess characteristics that are highly prized in a culture and thus serve as models for behavior.”

Our study of the archetypes of cowboys and samurai helped us to understand and appreciate some of the significant cultural differences between the United States and Japan through the behavior of their heroes.