Thursday May 22, 2014

Oracle ADF and Simplified UI Apps: I18n Feng Shui on Display

I demoed the Hebrew language version of Oracle Sales Cloud Release 8 live in Israel recently, and the crowd was yet again wowed by the simplified UI (SUI).

I’ve now spent some time playing around with most of the 23 languages, the NLS (Natural Language Support) versions, as we’d call them, available in Release 8.

Hebrew language Oracle Sales Cloud UI Release 8

Hebrew Oracle Sales Cloud Release 8

The simplified UI is built using 100% Oracle ADF. The framework is a great solution for developers to productively build tablet-first, mobility-driven apps for users who work in natural languages other than English.

Oracle ADF’s internationalization (i18n) support leverages Java and Unicode and also packs more i18n goodness such as Bi-Di (or bi-directional) flipping of pages, locale-enabled resource bundles, date and time support, and so on.

Spanish and Hebrew Simplified UIs Bi-Directional Components Compared

Comparing Spanish (left) and Hebrew Bi-Di (right) page components in the simplified UI.
Note the change in the direction of the arrows and alignment of the text.

So, developers don’t have to do anything special with regard to ADF components thanks to this baked-in UX Feng Shui, as Grant Ronald of the ADF team would say to the UK Oracle User Group.

Find out more from Frédéric Desbiens (@blueberrycoder) about ADF i18n on the ADF Architecture TV YouTube channel and check out the Developer's Guide.

Wednesday Jan 05, 2011

Translation and Localization Resources for UX Designers

Here is a handy list of translation and localization-related resources for user experience professionals. Following some basic guidelines will help you design an easily translatable user experience.

Most of the references here are for web pages or software. Fundamentally, remember your designs will be consumed globally, and never divorce the design process from the development or deployment effort that goes into bringing your designs to life in code. Designers, ask yourself today: Do you know how the text you are using in your designs is delivered to the customer, even in English?

Key areas that UX designers always seen to fall foul of, in the enterprise applications space anyway, are:

  • Terminology that is impossible to translate (jargon, multiple modifiers, gerunds) or is used inconsistently.
  • Poorly written, verbose text (really, just write well in English, no special considerations).
  • String construction (concatenation of parts, assembled dynamically). This seems particularly problematic in search or calendar user interfaces. Days, weeks, months, and years are gender dependent in some languages. Thus, we have the composite messaging and positioning  issue (my favorite):
concat_calendar.png
  • Hard-coded fonts, small font sizes, or character formatting or casing that doesn't work globally.
  • Format that is not separate from content. 
  • Restricted real estate not allowing for text expansion in translation.
  • Forcing formatting with breaks, and hard-coding alphabetical sorting in one language.
  • Graphics that do not work for bi-di languages (because they indicate directionality and can't flip) or contain embedded text. The problems of culturally offensive icons are well known by now in the enterprise applications space, though there are some dangers, such as the use of flags to indicate languages, for example.

Resources

Doc and help considerations I can deal with later.
About

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)!
Profile

Ultan Ó Broin. Director, Global Applications User Experience, Oracle Corporation. On Twitter: @localization

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