Submissions/Improving the user experience of language tools

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This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2013.

Presentation Media


Slides used at the presentation during Wikimania 2013
Submission no. 
5022
Subject no. 
T1


Title of the submission
Improving the user experience of language tools
Type of submission
presentation
Author of the submission
Pau Giner
Country of origin
Spain
Affiliation
Wikimedia Foundation
E-mail address
pginer@wikimedia.org
Username
Pginer
Personal homepage or blog
http://pauginer.tumblr.com
Abstract

Problems in language support affect dramatically the user experience in our products. Without proper language tools, millions of users cannot contribute and consume knowledge. The Language Engineering team has been following a user-centered design process to create tools to support language selection, alternative input methods, font support, and collaborative translation. This talk presents the designs for these tools, the rationale behind the design decisions, the challenges we found for creating and testing multilingual prototypes, and the feedback obtained from the community during our usability studies.

Detailed proposal

Language is essential for consuming and contributing content. Without proper language tools, millions of users would not be able to participate in Wikimedia projects. The Language Engineering Team provides language-related tools to support language selection, alternative input methods, font support, and collaborative translation.

During the design of such tools, several unique challenges have been faced. Projects such as Wikipedia are available in 258 languages which goes one order of magnitude beyond the languages in which most global websites are available. In addition, the high number and diversity of our users makes that the need for the tools varies from user to user while input method and automatic webfont download are essential for users speaking non-latin languages, they are probably never used by other users.

This talk presents the latest designs for language-related tools:

  • The Universal Language Selector. A tool was designed for selecting a language and configuring its support. Language settings include the selection of an input method and the configuration of webfonts for the proper display of non-latin content.
  • jquery.IME. This library supports more than 100 different keyboard mappings that allow users to type in a different script that the one for which they keyboard is prepared. An input menu was designed to make it easy not only to select one of the many input methods available, but also to switch between them for multi-lingual users.
  • Translate Extension redesign. The translate extension turns MediaWiki into a collaborative platform for localising software. Making the translation process fluent by providing the tools and information that translations require at hand was one of our main design goals and challenges.

During the talk we will discuss the rationale behind the design decisions, the challenges we found for creating and testing multilingual prototypes, and the feedback obtained from the community during our usability studies. In addition, design considerations for integrating such tools with other projects with increasing internationalisation needs.


Track
Technology and Infrastructure
Length of presentation/talk
25 Minutes
Language of presentation/talk
English
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?

Yes

Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests


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  1. Siebrand (talk) 19:02, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
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