Report from Africa: A Java ME MIDlet for User-Generated Localization
By Christine Dorffi on Nov 03, 2008
This article is by J.D. Moore (User Experience manager, Emerging Market Services, Nokia) and Daniel Orwa Ochieng (lecturer at the School of Computing and Informatics at the University of Nairobi's College of Biological and Physical Sciences, Kenya).
Mobile user-interface heuristics have shown these factors as critical in ease-of-use:
- Be consistent and build on experiences found locally in the user's environment
- Offer efficient menus, avoiding deep hierarchies -- particularly critical where there is rampant illiteracy.
- Provide clear feedback in the local language, for optimum comprehension.
- Let the user be in control, including decisions on resource usage (cost control).
- Simplify dialog boxes and navigation, and expect to deal with diversity via a simple user interface.
- Offer useful text labels with localized iconography (culturally sensitive).
As an example of these theories in action, Gergely Herenyi of Nokia developed an FM Radio Reference MIDlet, posted on the Nokia Forum. The MIDlet supports user-generated localization for an application to connect people to community radio stations. You can download the full source code from that site as well.