July 8, 2014

App: Lost in translation

From time to time, each of us working in the app development, be that an UI/UX designer, developer or project manager has to come up with user messages on the spot.
We all think: "Oh this is a temporary text, a placeholder, we will fix it later.. Question: How many times this never happens?" And you would be surprised to know that this happens a lot starting from major international product development, brands that we all look up to, to the small side projects we do for fun.

At CyberWalkAbout, having a portfolio of over a dozen apps, some of the small "just for fun"projects surprise by being more successful than some of those which required a big effort and were expected to become a hit. App analytics help then take those apps to the next level of success.
One of the big things to pay attention are the statistics of usage per country or language which might be the reason to consider translating the app into the language of the country where the app is most successful.

Here are 7 eye-opening statistics why this could be a changing point for your app.

70+ languages are supported by Twitter and Facebook
90% of customers CHOOSE their native language when it’s made available
78% of customers are more likely to BUY if user instructions are in their language
81% of customers are more likely to BUY if technical documentation is in their language
60% of customers in Japan and France will not buy from an app in another language
(Sources: The Economist Intelligence Unit, Common Sense Advisory)

Below, you will find some guidelines to consider when writing the messages to the users that will help sending a direct and clear message as well as avoiding embarrassing translation mistakes.

Correct Content

  • Run the message through a check spelling software i.e. MS Word, or even browser for that matter.
  • Use Commas to separate subordinate clause at the beginning of the sentence and elements in a list:

Could be rewritten to "Slow, children."or even better, "Slow-down, children." 
  • Add hyphens - when you use the appropriate prefixes, to avoid double vowels, to avoid tripple consonants, for clarity, with certain compound phrases
  • Use that for restrictive clauses, use which for for non-restrictive clauses

Clear content

Use short sentences with just one topic

Bad: "This is a list of the current status of all event monitors for this process"
Better: "This lists the current status of all event monitors for this process."

Use simple tenses

What does "studying plans could be useful" mean?
  • Plans that discuss studying could be useful.
  • Studying the plans could be useful.

Use active voice, avoid passive voice

Include all the articles and all other necessary parts of speech

What does "Print control file list" mean?
  • Print all the files that contain controls.
  • A list of files that contain print controls.
  • Print a list of control files.
  • Print the controls and file the list.
  • Control the print and list the files.
  • Print and control a list of files.

Repeat nouns and repeat modifiers, do not use ambiguous pronouns

Bad: The developers agreed to discuss the issue, but it took too long.
Better: The developers agreed to discuss the issue, but the discussion took too much time.

Omit any unnecessary words

Wordy:          In the event that
More Concise: If

Do not use "and/or"

Example: When you say Close and/or lock the door, the translators have to choose among the following possible phrases:
Close and lock the door.
Close or lock the door.
Close or lock the door, or close and lock the door.

Avoid idioms and jargon

Bad: in the ballpark
Better: estimate

Consitent Content

Use US Standard English

Use only one unvaried term for any given concept


when asking the user to press on something all the following words mean the same:
  • Depress
  • Enter
  • Hit
  • Press
  • Strike
  • Tap
  • Type

For delete:
  • Clear
  • Delete
  • Discard
  • Erase
  • Purge

Keep the use of numbers and digits consistent
Use Family Name and Given Name instead of First and Last Name

How to proper format your strings

  • Place all your Strings into a separate resource XML file - the strings include titles, names, error messages and any other text the user might see.
  • DO NOT concatenate strings, it almost always results into a localization bug. i.e. red pencil will be translated to crayon rouge in french
  • Set up the rules for ellipsize - As a rule ellipsize at the end for 1 word button texts and in the middle for 2 word. If the translation is long, then the user might never see the second word if you cut the strings at the end.
  • Allow for string expansion 


Test the strings at early stages, google translate and other services will give you an idea of the length of the strings.
Possible solutions are to either leave room between the text and the field or place the label above the field.



In the table below are the IBM recommendations for planning for UI text expansion:
http://www-01.ibm.com/software/globalization/guidelines/guideb.html


  • Never put hard enters in the code.
  • Avoid text in icons and other image assets





March 12, 2014

Children TV ~ videos for kids

We developed Children TV app to create a SAFE app for our children. We REVIEW all videos and mark them AGE appropriate.


We have lot of users from different countries, speaking MANY LANGUAGES, since it is almost impossible to find favorite videos in so many languages we ask you to help us, your and other kids will be thankful.

Also, as a parent you can brush up on a foreign language skills using this app, too!

Download:



Please suggest videos that your kids like, and we will do our best to make them available in the Children TV apps.








January 21, 2014

CyberFit app


CyberFit is a video-based set of fitness programs that are customized to your goals.


DOWNLOAD:

I have talked to a gym buff who said,
- I know my exercises, why do I need a new app?
    - How do you track your exercises?
- Spreadsheet.
    - This is exactly why we created this app!
              ~ Uki D. Lucas, CyberFit app.

Why do I need it?
  • many different training programs 
  • new trainers with innovative programs
  • history of your exercises: no more spreadsheets and notepads
  • don't forget important exercises we tend to skip otherwise
  • exercises are sorted by your goals
  • exercises are sorted by frequency you do them
  • keep track of you friends and clients' progress
  • complete set of body measurements
  • photos comparison of your body taken in time intervals 
  • schedule of workout sessions with notifications 
  • run, bike and hike with map and detailed stats
  • much more!











January 12, 2014

SF Bay Area Events

SF Bay Area Events app for iOS and Android.
 
SF Bay Area Events provides users with a variety of exciting city events!

Filter through multiple calendars to find sports games, business conferences, parties, art events, tech meetings, social media, and more!
Global events, such as marathons and mud races can be followed as well. Never miss the opportunity to run a race in multiple cities.

Follow your favorite events on Twitter with #hashtags already included, share using Facebook, Email, SMS and other applications! Select events to favorites, which adds them to your calendar.

 http://bit.ly/SFLocalGuide
Download San Francisco Bay Area Events for iOS here: http://bit.ly/SF_events_iOS

Download SF Bay Area Events for Android here: http://bit.ly/SFLocalGuide

Submit your events here :  http://bit.ly/cyber_event

December 27, 2013

Multilingual ChildrenTV App


ChildrenTV is designed for children to enjoy and adults who want to learn a foreign language. This free app plays multiple multilingual cartoon videos for all ages. The application is available for Android and iOS. iPhone version includes a word game that can be played before, or after watching the video. 


Children TV app for iOS http://bit.ly/ChildrenTV_iOS

Children TV app for Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.chicagoandroid.childrentv


ChildrenTV allows you to:
  • Filter through 10 languages: English, French, German, Italian, Korean, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian.
  • Filter through age categories: 2+, 4+, 6+, and 8+
  • Play word game for interactive learning.
  • Search for videos.

 

 




December 18, 2013

Chicago Events






Great application to look for sports games, business conferences, parties, tech meetings, social media, and more! 

Global events can be followed as well, such as marathons and mud races!
Follow your favorite events on Twitter with #hashtags already included, share using Facebook, Email, SMS and other application

Best application if you live, or you plan to visit Chicago.








  • View upcoming events in a convenient calendar list view. 
  • Apply filters to see only the categories you want to see. 
  • Select your favorites to for easy lookup and reminders





















  • View your favorites
  • View tweets for particular event
  • Write new tweets for this event directly from the application




















  • Read details about particular event
  • Open the map
  • Tweet with a right #hashtag attached
  • Open the event URL
  • Make it a favorite for later lookup and reminder

























Submit your events here :  http://bit.ly/cyber_event



November 14, 2013

New versions of Local Events apps for Android!

CyberWalkAbout.com is happy to announce new updates of Chicago, Los Angeles, and SF Bay Area Events apps for Android.

We've just deployed 

  • CHICAGO EVENTS – version 65
  • SF BAY AREA EVENTS – version 15
  • LA EVENTS - version 7

http://bit.ly/ChiLocal http://bit.ly/SFLocalGuidehttps://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cyberwalkabout.localguide.la 
https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=CyberWalkAbout.com

Check out the apps and give us your feedback! We do our best to constantly improve our applications.

Filter and browse events by these popular categories:
- Art and Culture,
- Social Media,
- Sports Events,
- Food Events,
- Business,
- Digital Art,
- Marathons, Triathlons and Obstacle Races
- Technology


Select and follow your favorite events on Twitter with #hashtags already included, share using Facebook, Google+ Email, SMS so your friends get on the action, too.

Download Chicago Events here:  http://bit.ly/ChiLocal 
 
Download San Francisco Bay Area Events here: http://bit.ly/SFLocalGuide
 
Download LA Events here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cyberwalkabout.localguide.la

Also, the Local Events apps are available for iPhone!

October 18, 2013

LA Events App


LA Events app on the market for iOS and Android. 

LA Events provides users with a variety of exciting city events!

Filter through multiple calendars to find sports games, business conferences, parties, art events, tech meetings, social media, and more!

Global events, such as marathons and mud races can be followed as well. Never miss the opportunity to run a race in multiple cities.

Follow your favorite events on Twitter with #hashtags already included, share using Facebook, Email, SMS and other applications!

Select events to favorites, which adds them to your calendar. Don't forget to set as many reminders as you need.




     

    

    



Download LA Local Events for iOS here: http://bit.ly/LA_events

Download LA Local Events for Android here: LA Events app - Android

Submit your events here :  http://bit.ly/cyber_event

Uki's Google Java Technology blog