Guideline D: Product structure in a globalized environment

D1: Isolating culture & language sensitive parts



Isolating culture and language sensitive parts

The implementation of unique culture-sensitive and language-sensitive parts of a product can be time-consuming and expensive if the parts are deeply integrated into other parts of the product. Sometimes implementation of the multicultural settings happens at a different time and is performed by developers other than the original ones. If the part of a product to be changed is hard to find, or if the changes affect the surrounding functions adversely, testing and redesign can take a significant amount of effort.


Guideline D1


Isolate language-sensitive and culture-sensitive parts from other parts of the product to allow for easy change.


The parts of a product that will be changed to meet multicultural support requirements must be identified, with the goal that those parts of a product that are not affected by the multicultural support alterations should remain unchanged. Similar to the User Interface separation of multicultural support parts from non-multicultural support parts simplifies design, testing, and maintenance.

Example: A routine expedites a search by setting characters in monocase form. Different scripts require different monocase guidelines. Some scripts, such as, Hebrew and Chinese, have only one case in their scripts. The monocasing code must be separated from the monocasing guidelines for all the supported languages, allowing the same code to select and use the appropriate guideline for the user's preferred language.


Guideline D1-1


Write one set of application source code that will work correctly, without modification, in each of the required countries or regions.



Guideline D1-2


Ensure that all applications are able to accept data, store data, process, sort, search, display, and print data in support of the languages of targeted users.



Guideline D1-3


Design web sites and content management systems so that there is a repository for localized information for each country or region and language.



Guideline D1-4


When collecting data from users, ensure that other languages, beside the local language, can be entered and the data is not corrupted when returned to the server for processing by the application.



Guideline D1-5


Ensure applications are aware of the country or region and language of the data stored in the database, as this affects the formatting and rendering of the data. Store the country or region and language information in the data repository with the data.



Guideline D1-6


Display information in culturally correct ways to avoid misunderstanding. Use templates and locale-based programming techniques to handle these situations, where possible. Review each element in the application that may exhibit differences by country or region.