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14 May
2012

Global eLearning: Faster, Better, Cheaper (infographic)

By Darron | Best Practices, Event | 2 responses so far

Global eLearning - Faster, Better, Cheaper (infographic)

16 April
2012

Go Global Cheaply

By Darron | Best Practices | No comment yet

Your job: train global learners.
My job: internationalize, translate and localize your training.
Our goal: achieve desirable training results at the lowest cost possible.

Global learning can present some daunting challenges. I recently learned that 40% of training costs, industry-wide, are consumed in travel. Building scalable and easily deployed learning modules can greatly reduce travel needs and the associated cost. With that expenditure reduced, the cost savings come down to effective elearning (or mlearning) course development and delivery. Chances are you put a good deal of thought into the English course structure, design and development. You’ll want to apply that effort to your multilingual course, and you’d prefer to avoid exorbitant costs. Here’s a case study snap shot of how one of my clients accomplished this:

White space allowance 40% in English to handle text expansion in target languages
Storage 98% of text in external XML for easy access and light packages
Tagged format XML automation efficiencies
Shared resources one amend fixed multiple instances
Fonts fewer character support concerns
Encoding always UTF-8 to avoid corruption
Editable images no recreation of editable text layers required
Developer navigation Reduced engineering and QA time
Voice over Abandoned for lower cost text subtitling

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22 March
2012

Image Localization – Part 2

By Darron | Best Practices | No comment yet

Welcome back to the series on image localization. As I said in the last post, image localization tends to sap more time and money than any other single piece of a job. If you can master a few principles, then you’ll save exponentially when it comes time to localize. The best part is that these few principles are incredibly simple.

Image White Space

Give yourself enough white space to account for text expansion, and you'll save exponentially at localization.

Today I want to address white space. All too often we forget to account for it. Did you know that it’s not uncommon for target language text to expand up to 30% from the English? 30%! I have personally witnessed the unfortunate expansion of one tiny word on one tiny button to 300%. That’s an outlier, and perhaps statistically irrelevant, but it makes the point. We need to expect text expansion, and to account for it we need to include white space.

Consider the example in the pictures of “Try Again” buttons to the right. In English, this is a very nice button; the text fills the button nicely, and it is consistent with the style of the course it came from. Now consider the two Spanish examples, “Vuelve a intentarlo.” Note that our only options include breaking onto two lines and dramatically reducing the font size. The French “Recommence” also requires a font size reduction despite increasing the button size.

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12 March
2012

Image Localization – Part 1

By Darron | Best Practices | No comment yet

As part of series on image localization, I’ll be sharing information about common internationalization and localization gotchas. Images consistently cost my clients more in time and money than any other single component of their localization project. Some planning and work up front can save a good deal at the localization stage. In this post, I’ll address one of many considerations: static v editable images.

Static and Editable Images

Giving your localization partner source images with editable text layers saves exponentially on time and money.

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2 December
2011

The Changing Face of Flash Localization (Guest Blogger – John O’Shea)

By John | Development Tools, Emerging Technology, mLearning | No comment yet

Adobe Flash, Flex and Air iconsWith the recent news that Adobe will be deprecating both their Mobile Flash and Flex development, this leaves application and content developers in a period of uncertainty and, most likely, having to duplicate work for the foreseeable future.
We think that most developers will move towards a dual-pronged effort for content creation: Flash will remain in the dominant position on the desktop for the short- to mid-term future, but mobile device constraints means that more and more work will migrate towards HTML5-based solutions.

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26 September
2011

UTF-8: Global Character Support

By Darron | Best Practices | No comment yet

Corrupt SpanishContent is king. It’s still true, and if you want people to be able to witness its majesty you need to use the right technology to support each character. Character encoding tells the browser (or whatever GUI application the content comes through) how to properly interpret the characters so that they render as expected. You’ve undoubtedly seen examples of when this has gone wrong. You will have seen either empty boxes or black diamonds or capitalized, strangely accented letters instead of legible text strings.

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11 May
2011

Trivantis Acquires Flypaper

By Darron | Development Tools | No comment yet

Flypaper LogoCharles J. Beech, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Trivantis, announced today the acquisition of Flypaper Studio, Inc. Trivantis is perhaps best known for its rapid e-learning development tool Lectora. While Lectora and Flypaper are not dissimilar products, it’s unlikely that the acquisition was simply a matter of eliminating competition. It is more likely that the two companies have teamed up to help one another climb to higher reaches. Flypaper has nowhere near the presence and reputation that Trivantis has. Trivantis however seems to have stagnated some in their technology, and Flypaper has a lot of promise and product already on offer.

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1 April
2011

LS2011 Recap

By Darron | Event, General | No comment yet

We had a great time at Learning Solutions Conference 2011 last week. We met a lot of great people at our exhibit, in our Master Class (Use Familiar Tools for Global Learning) and milling about. A special congratulations to our prize giveaway winners!

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4 February
2011

Rapid eLearning Localization

By Darron | Best Practices, Development Tools | 2 responses so far

There are a LOT of rapid elearning platforms out there. Many of them are based on MS PowerPoint. My personal development preferences do not include PPT, but that’s irrelevant. There are clearly enough course designers out there who use PowerPoint to justify myriad rapid dev tools to be built around it. Some producers of such tools include small but excellent companies like eLearning Brothers as well as some big players like Adobe.

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21 January
2011

Worldwide Browsing – Chrome Up, IE Down

By Darron | Emerging Technology | One comment so far

StatCounter graphEver wonder which browser is most used in the world? Most of us can probably guess that Internet Explorer dominates. Well, most of us would be right then. However, Google Chrome is making a significant impact on IE market share. You can see in the graph below (from http://gs.statcounter.com/) that while Firefox use has pretty much remained stable over the past year, IE has been declining as Chrome grows more popular. In the past year, IE lost 8.78% of global market share while Chrome picked up 9.4%, which means it’s presence nearly tripled in 12 months. Meanwhile, Firefox use declined by about 1%. StatCounter Also tracks things like browser versions, platforms and mobile devices…even some social media. They drill down to the continent and country level as well, which is extremely helpful when developing courses for specific geographic markets.It will be interesting to watch the trends to see how we tought to change
our development
standards and methods.

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