Nielsen (1994). Chapter 9 – International User Interfaces.

Nielsen, J. (1994). Chapter 9 – International User Interfaces. In Usability Engineering (2nd ed., pp. 237-254). San Diego, California: Academic Press.

“Usability for this large number of users will depend upon increased awareness of the issues in designing user interfaces for international use.” (p 237)

“Icons and other graphic interface elements can also be classified in three categories according to the role they play when being used: signals (information sensed at the skill-based level , such as braking when you see a red traffic light), signs (information derived from rule-based behavior, such as adjusting your speed based on whatever the latest speed limit posting read), and symbols (information deduced by knowledge-based reasoning, such as puzzling out the meaning of unfamiliar icons in a foreign airport).” (p 239)

[English menu items in active voice translated into Danish versions with passive voice…]

“Each of the translated menu items was perfectly adequate when seen by itself as a static interface element. But when they were used as part of an interaction (inherently dynamic), several users erroneously reversed their meaning.” (p 243)

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