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Multi-language Application Design

There are many challenges with designing an application that supports multiple languages.  One of those challenges is getting the design text translated quickly and integrated into existing design tools that can keep pace with rapid prototyping. Missing an opportunity to test a user interface in a person’s native language could adversely impact building a multi-language application. Transferring the multi-language content to a development team with accuracy is an ongoing challenge throughout the design process. Solutions to this problem need to evolve as these challenges constantly arise which causes these applications not to support multiple languages.

Developing a user interface involves dozens of revisions as an idea turns from low-fidelity wireframes into high-fidelity prototypes.  There are many activities that a design team takes, such as peer feedback and leadership feedback that create many points of change in the text and content of a design. These changes need to be translated quickly so the designer can check the design concepts and ensure that all graphic elements are appropriate for a given space or element.  Machine-based automated translation can serve these needs quickly due to the limited need for highly accurate translations.  Speed of translation and tool integration are the key features that any solution needs to support. The solution needs to integrate into the design teams prototyping tools like Figma, Adobe XD, and Sketch. The pace and speed of multilanguage prototypes require a solution that can deliver value without impacting the design process.

Best practices for the design process are to have a new user experience tested with potential users, which is how the best designs are tested.  All too often this testing is done in a single language even though some of the test users may not be native speakers of the source language. This is one of the biggest challenges because the opportunity to learn something new is lost. The challenge of translation is placed on the test user and this puts the user in a position to understand something and comment on it. Even though the design team may not speak the language, the designer could use a fast translation tool that could quickly and accurately translate the prototype into the test user’s native language.  The test user only must translate the feedback and not the entire application and design.  The value generated by rapidly changing a prototype to a user’s native language can be a be the difference between building an application that is breaking down barriers to new users and building a wall that cannot be taken down.

The last step in the design process is the most critical and where most of the design process breaks down. Even if you get over the first two challenges, the engineering team still needs to build the application. A rapid translation tool needs to be able to deliver that content in the development environment just as fast as the design team creates it. This challenge is even more important when building software in an Agile way. Sprint over sprint the product owners and analysts need to copy the text from the designs and transfer it into detailed documentation. This can lead to errors of omission and errors of accuracy.  The solution to this needs to be able to be integrated into prototype tools (Figma, Adobe XD, Sketch) and be available in common development libraries (REST, GraphQL).

FluentC solves these challenges in a single tool. FluentC has rapid and quick translation, best-in-class machine translation, and is available in over 75 languages. This means that when you know the native language of a test user, your prototype can quickly respond to their native language.  All the translations and source content are available instantly for the development team to incorporate into an application. The speed that FluentC can enable a design and development team to achieve is a unique feature that makes FluentC a must-have for multi-language application development.

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