SIGIA-L Mail Archives: [Sigia-l] regional sites vs. language ve
[Sigia-l] regional sites vs. language versions
From: Adam Greenfield (adam.greenfield_at_razorfish.com)
Date: Wed Sep 25 2002 - 21:16:40 EDT
> My question: When it comes to the new global homepage - users will be
> given a choice to choose their site based on what language they want.
> However, there will be: English, German, Japanese, Korean, French,
> Italian, Spanish - and ... The Americas Regional Website. I am confused if
> users will understand the difference between Americas Regional Site and the
> Global English site. I am wondering if anyone has any experience with
> mixing general websites with location-based websites that feature
> localized, region-specific information. My boss (global marketing
> director, little web experience)seems to think that worldwide English
> speakers will be "just fine" with the US-site.... I am not so sure, as lots
> of the content is inappropriate. Don't want to offer content only to turn
> around and say "thanks for reading, but this doesn't apply to you." Am I
> out of my mind? Would love to hear any thoughts either way.
I'm going to agree with you, Colleen. You are most definitely not out of
your mind; in fact, I'm a little taken aback by your boss's arrogance.
(Maybe I shouldn't be by now...)
Your intuition is right on. When you've once established a cognitive
category like "language," as opposed to "location," violations of it are
bound to confound and dismay users. Especially if, as you've made clear, the
US-only content is marginally appropriate to other Anglophones.
If you're going to offer a choice of languages for global-audience-relevant
content, that's great, but that choice should be distinguished from
selecting country-specific content (which would then presumably default to
the language in use in the given country).
Best of luck,
Lead information architect
T +81 3 5475 2055 (direct)
F +81 3 5475 2021 (fax)
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