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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Localization Testing of the UI

Also keep an eye on the behavior of applications that run processes in a system-such as operating-system services-rather than in a user's context. When a system process queries its user default UI language settings, it might get a result different from what a user's process running at the same time will get. This can cause localization problems, inconsistency in the UI that the user sees (if parts of it are generated by the system services), or even problems in functionality. In order to avoid those problems, always check an application's behavior with different default user and system UI languages. The settings for UI languages should also be different from those used in the development environment.

For example, assume you have a machine with MUI installed and a user whose default UI language is different from that of the system. Suppose a fax service waiting for incoming calls is running continuously and that, when a fax arrives, the service displays a notification message to the currently logged user (if there is one). You must ensure that the message be in the user's language, which might not necessarily be the same as the one returned to the fax service when it queries its default UI language.

In particular, localization testing of the UI and linguistics should cover items such as:

  • Validation of all application resources.

  • Verification of linguistic accuracy and resource attributes.

  • Checking for typographical errors.

  • Checking that printed documentation, online Help, messages, interface resources, and command-key sequences are consistent with each other. If you have shipped localized versions of your product before, make sure that the translation is consistent with the earlier released versions.

  • Confirmation of adherence to system, input, and display environment standards.

  • Checking usability of the UI.

  • Assessment of cultural appropriateness.

  • Checking for politically sensitive content.

  • Making sure the market-specific information about your company, such as contact information or local product-support phone numbers, is updated.

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