This is the documentation for the course „Smart City Interface“ with Prof. Constanze Langer and Dr. Sebastian Meier in summer semester 18.
In this course, we want to rethink „Verwaltung“ and put users in the center of digital process development. Here, new approaches and applications are designed and tested with prototypes. We visited the office of „Finanzamt Berlin“ and had the opportunity to speak with people working there on the project „ELSTER“.
During the semester we made presentation of different desires. In my presentation, I talk about foreign languages. I made the classification of the language and quote some interesting facts. The research dealt with the life of Foreigners in Berlin. I researched valuable tips, which are necessary to multilingualism in interface design to be considered appropriately. You can look at the presentation closer at attached the .pdf. https://drive.google.com/file/d/12Um8cPllSfPjGCKlNcbE36_icZIfEm-G/view?usp=sharing
- When you offer content in several languages, it’s best not to rely on translation software. Ask a professional human translator or a native speaker.
3. Flags are very often used to indicate a language. But you should know that:
- Flags represent countries, not languages.
- A country can have more than one official language.
- A language can be spoken in more than one country.
- Visitors might not recognize a flag (because of the icon size) or they might be confused by similar flags.
4. Your content needs to be readable. Don’t forget that certain languages are more “wordy” and therefore take up more space. A button ‘add to cart’ might be translated in Dutch to ‘aan winkelwagen toevoegen’. The English version consists of 11 characters, the Dutch version 25, taking up twice as much space. Non-Latin fonts may need a different line-height, or character size, to your Latin default. Chinese characters, for example, are visually more complex than Latin characters, meaning they need to be large enough for clear distinction.
5. Countries have differing ethical views. There’s a culture-specific nature of sexuality, humor, symbolism, etc. which is easily overlooked when translating a website. For example: in certain countries it’s perfectly acceptable to show a photo of a gay couple, while other countries might find this offensive.
The Portal of registration of a business is currently available only in German. However, there are many citizens in Germany who need to sign up for their new business and don't speak, read or write German. The goal of my project is multilingualism of the portal. Users should be able to select their native language. I made a new design of the portal in different languages. (German, English, Russian, Arabic and Chinese.)
After working on the project with native speakers I would like mention two facts that I have during noticed my work that were not mentioned in the tips i was speaking about before:
- If copy arabic texts in Photoshop, you have to do it with the help of this service, otherwise you will get mirrored letters.