Going Native: Chinese Mobile UX

Shout out for a great article by Dan Grover (@dangrover), writing about Chinese mobile app user interface trends.

Chinese Mobile App UI Trends. Image via Dan Grover.

Chinese Mobile App UI Trends. Image via Dan Grover.

Dan relocated from San Francisco to China, and used this move to document and share some great insights into Chinese user experience that are invaluable for localization too.

Check out the examples. I love the sections on how discovery is the new hamburger menu and how chat is a universal UI in its own right.

And you thought QR codes were dead?

In keeping with the inspiration for the article, it is now available in Chinese too:  中国移动应用设计趋势解读

Let’s see more articles like this!

The Importance of Translated Public Health Information Comes Home

Spotted these notices in the arrivals area at Dublin Airport as I returned from abroad. The information is about the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease. These notices are in Gaeilge (Irish), English, and French, and are published by the Irish Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

Ebola health protection signs at Dublin Airport in Gaeilge, English, and French.

Ebola health protection signs at Dublin Airport in Gaeilge, English, and French.

A reminder that we live in a globalized world, sure. Not that disease ever respected national boundaries.

But, it’s also a reminder of the importance of translated public health information.

In this case the information was translated by the state, but there are plenty of places and situations worldwide where translated information is not, or cannot be, done that way for the local audience. So, you help deliver important translated public information by contributing to Translators Without Borders (@TranslatorsWB)or by seeking some other way to use your translation skills, or some of your hard earned money, for humane causes.

Sport and Localization: I’ll Run With That

I’ve just completed the Florence Marathon 2014, or La Maratona Di Firenze, if you prefer. A fairly respectable time for my little legs. It’s not my first marathon, but it was my first in Italy.

The after the Florence Marathon

Hasta la pasta. The after the Florence Marathon. Pic: Author.

Again, moving around the world as I do, a personal event offered me some nice insights into how local culture reshapes the familiar. Of course, marathons are associated with pasta parties and “carbing up” beforehand, but in Italy it was the touches during the race itself that mattered to me. None of your Gatorade here, thank you!

I was delighted to see the Italian flair for food come to fore on the feeding stations along the race route. It was hot sweetened  (tea), biscotti, dolci, frutta (fruit), and other local delicacies, along with sali (salts) replacement drinks, of course. No cappuccino, sorry. After the race there were the same kind of offerings. Of course, product globalization aside, there was the presence of Nutella (now commemorated as a postage stamp in Italy) for hungry runners, too.

Now, we don’t see, read, or hear enough about the role of culture, or localization, in sport, professional or otherwise. Perhaps someone can present on that topic at a conference or write about it in 2015.

Come on, there are even runs organized for attendees at Localization World these days. How about some insights and observations that relate  running, or other sporting activities, to the business of localization?

The Politics of Irish Language: Gaeilge (Never Gaelic)

I was going to write about the politics of the Irish language (Gaeilge) in the North of Ireland/Northern Ireland (see? in trouble already).

But I won’t.

Curry my yoghurt. Funny on one level, deadly serious on another.

Curry my yoghurt. Funny on one level; deadly serious on another.

The topic’s just too hot to handle (see what I did there?)

Recent news about the Irish language in that part of the island of Ireland is a reminder that language everywhere has powerful political and cultural dimensions. Language is a deadly serious business that can raise passions of the heart that no head can rationalize.

Still, on the subject of Gaeilge, it’s great to see how the Duolingo mobile is helping to spread Irish language learning elsewhere.

I bet that news fires up the passions too, huh?

Duolingo mobile app helps increase Gaeilge learning

Duolingo mobile app helps increase Gaeilge learning worldwide.

As far as I’m concerned, whatever your views, just don’t call it Gaelic.

Fitness Bands for Christmahanakwanzika*? Ponder the L10n

Fitness bands and devices are massively popular (I am a major offender), but that may come under pressure from other wearable tech soon (translation: smart watches). Perhaps one of those little devices will turn up as a gift for you around this time of year.

I just noticed this Fitbit gamification badge pop up in my email. Very nice to be encouraged sure, but I am not so sure that this really reflects what Africa is about. You may have a view about this. Find the comments, if so.

Fitbit Gamification Badge for Achieving 8,000 KMs. More to Africa than monkeys and bannanas.

Fitbit gamification badge for achieving 8,000 KMs. More to Africa than monkeys and bananas.

Perhaps, the topic of wearable technology and the localization of its various components and methods will be one for 2015’s conferences, blogs, articles, and so on.

* Christmas, Hannukkah, Kwanzaa (aka Christmahanakwanzika), or as we say in Ireland, “whatever you’re havin’ yourself”.