[thelist] web globalization

Emma Jane Hogbin emmajane at xtrinsic.com
Mon Mar 3 10:31:05 CST 2003

I'm replying to the list because I think some of my comments will be of
benefit to others. There's also no contact information for the person who will be
receiving the answers.

On Mon, Mar 03, 2003 at 11:28:13AM -0000, dn at dittodesign.co.uk wrote:
> anybody with a little time on there hands this morning ?
> If any of you guys have the time please could you have a
> look and maybe complete the form.
> http://www.dittodesign.co.uk/Global.htm

Btw, that's a /long/ questionnaire. It would take at least half an hour to
fill out it without thinking. Longer if you wanted to actually answer the
questions. I would also recommend your friend add some kind of context at
the top of the form. There is no information on why the questionnaire is
there or what is going to happen with the answers. There's also no privacy
statement concerning what will be done with my name, job position and

Who is supposed to complete this form? It seems like it's supposed to be
managers of companies. Even if I were working on a multinational site, I
would /not/ complete this form. (See reasons above.)

In terms of the actual questions....a few heads up:
- multilingual is NOT the same as localized. Localized takes into account
  regional variations as well. e.g. "Spanish" can mean: Mexico, Ecuador
  and Spain.
- be careful of value-loaded language. I noted the following in the first
  few questions: unfriendly, "individual, inconsistent local websites",
  "over-laden with graphics and complex scripting." You're directing the
  user with this language. Try to avoid putting judgement into your
- make sure your questions match your sub-text. Question #6: the bold part
  talks about Middle-East and central European markets. The non-bold part
  mentions ideographic writing systems, typically associated with the "Far
  East." I would rephrase this question to ask something to the effect of,
  "As your company expands it may include regions which use a different
  character set than your current website. What issues have you encountered
  when trying to introduce a new character set to existing pages?"
- Feelings about Unicode? Hmmmm. For starters: you may want to be more
  specific about which unicode you mean. Do you mean utf-8? Which doesn't
  have enough space for all ideographic characters currently being used in
  Japanese, Chinese (mandarin)...or do you mean utf-16 or utf-32?
  http://www.unicode.org/glossary/ scroll to the bottom and look up utf-X
  to see all the different flavors of unicode.
- This questionnaire is going to be brutal to evaluate. I would recommend
  having some radio buttons that allow people to quickly fill out some
  bits: how important is this to you: 1 = very 2 = somewhat 3 = not very 4
  = not applicable. Always give an /even/ number of scale options if you
  don't want people to be fence sitters and select the middle option.
  Question #9 would be a perfect use of radio options to select one of the
  sub-questions and then a "why" box under the radio options.


Emma Jane Hogbin
[[ 416 417 2868 ][ www.xtrinsic.com ]]

More information about the thelist mailing list