Saturday Apr 23, 2016

Iconic #WearableTech: Gucci Translate Anyone?

With my interest in all matters translation, wearables, and fashion technology (#fashtech) related, this little innovation from IconSpeak naturally caught my eye.

It’s a t-shirt printed with icons that enables global travellers to communicate with others by pointing to the icons, doing away with the need for those "so-so" mobile translation apps or having to carry clunky phrase books into the bargain. The icons themselves are said to be easily recognizable worldwide and have been chosen to represent the most frequent translation needs of travellers.

IconSpeak World T-Shirt: Wearable tech taken literally

IconSpeak World t-shirt: Wearable tech taken literally?

Here’s what Travel + Leisure website has to say:

“The IconSpeak T-shirt design is surprisingly straightforward: it’s a series of 40 “universal” icons laid out in a grid. By pointing to one or more of the pictures, you can create a very basic message without having to speak a lick of the language. You’ll just have to find someone willing to play T-shirt charades with you. A taste of the icons you have to work with: an airplane, tools, an open book, camera, clock, bus, boat, a person seated on a toilet. Basically anything you need to portray day-to-day necessities.”

Yes, it's wearabletech being taken more literally. 

It’s always great to see innovation, but as a seasoned traveler and fashion fan, whatever about the idea of using icons in yet another curious ritual to interact with others (and there are some social limitations), I think the cut and colours of the t-shirts themselves might need the input of a more happening fashionista. However, you have to admire the simplicity of the idea.

You can read about IconSpeak’s inspiration on their blog. 

From a usability perspective, what kinds of things might be considered for keeping icon-based communication simple?

Check out this blog post from our user experience friends and Oracle Usability Advisory Board member EchoUser (@EchoUser) to find out: When Simple Becomes Complicated

Perhaps you feel there is more potential in using icons on clothes or other places too.

Find the comments…

Sunday Dec 27, 2015

“Hello. Is it .ME You’re Looking For?” Storytelling for Coders

Using plain language and developing solutions that reflect the user’s world are some of the long-laid foundations of software user experience (UX). These days we might talk more about context and storytelling as part of our UX communications strategy than usability heuristics, but the message is the same: talk to your users in way that relates to them.

What’s in a name? It depends. Some good advice from Paul Tomkiel helps you architecture that software the right way for global users.

What’s in a name? It depends. Some good advice from Paul Tomkiel helps you architecture that software the right way for global users.

So, I really love this article by Paul Tomkiel (@paul_tomkiel) of CodeL10n.comFirst, Middle, Last – Why Not Full Name?

Paul writes a very compelling article about how to architecture software for the entering and storing of user names in a way that work globally. He’s aimed this important piece at developers using clear, plain language that they’ll understand. Chances are they will read it.

Naturally, Paul begins with a story we can relate to. In my own experience, I’ve found that my Irish surname (Ó Broin) has been stored and printed in many ways (O Broin, O’Broin, Obroin, OBROIN, Broin, and so on), even in Ireland. Outside of Ireland, I think that only the Social Security Administration in the U.S. got it right – and those guys track you by number anyway. At times, I am sorry I just don’t give up and use the English form of my surname: Byrne.

But, why should I? 

Paul steers clear of the linguistic mumbo-jumbo and "I'm a language expert and can order beer in three languages so listen up, devs" attitude that is such a turn-off for developers (and the rest of us). The article is refreshingly short compared with the usual lectures on the subject, and Paul ends with some useful recommendations and examples from the real world of consumer software.

A fine example of developer relations.

Here’s another great plain language, no-nonsense approach on the subject of i18n and L10n education for developers from Java, Android, and i18n domain whizz John O’Conner (@joconner): the absolute minimum they need to know.

Examples of the i18n and L10n story told well.

* This article is based on a Blogos article. 

Monday Jun 01, 2015

Oracle PaaS4SaaS UX Enablement is Global

In case you were in any doubt, the recent Oracle Applications User Experience (UX) events in Singapore and Beijing serve as a timely reminder that our PaaS4SaaS UX enablement for Oracle Partners is global.

Our toolkit is internationalized (taking advantage of those Java i18n features and the best of Unicode) and supports translation and localization requirements for different countries and regions worldwide.

Rapid Development Kit in Simplified Chinese

The Oracle Applications User Experience PaaS4SaaS enablement for partners is based on the simplified UI rapid development kit approach. Oracle Applications Cloud partners in Beijing and Singapore saw a simplified UI deployed live to an Oracle Java Cloud Service-SaaS Extension service. Try the kit yourself here.

Check out the Usable Apps blog post Deep-diving Oracle UX PaaS4SaaS Enablement in Asia and the VoX (Voice of User Experience) blog posts Showing the Oracle Applications User Experience Roadmap to Oracle's Asia Partners and Laying Out the Oracle Applications User Experience Strategy for Partners in Beijing for more details. 


Oracle Applications Cloud global user experience (UX): Culture, localization, internationalization, language, personalization, more. A globally-savvy UX making it all fit together for Oracle's worldwide partners and customers.

Audience: Enterprise applications translation and localization topics for the user experience professional (designers, engineers, developers, researchers)!

Ultan Ó Broin. Senior Director, Oracle Applications User Experience, Oracle EMEA. Twitter: @localization



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