John Topley’s Weblog

If You're Going To Localize, Localize Properly

Many websites invite their users to visit a regional version of the main site, but unfortunately few seem to manage to get the localization right. I recently had to renew my Norton AntiVirus subscription and I was directed the European Symantec site, where I was confronted with a classic example of poor localization. This is the subscription renewal form that came up:

Click to enlarge.
A picture of the Symantec European subscription renewal page

—Why an earth offer a list of states of the union when it's a European site and I've selected United Kingdom as the country?! That's just laziness.

A picture of non-localized hyperlinks on the Sun Microsystems' UK and Ireland training site

As another example, yesterday I was investigating Sun Microsystems' Java certification, which led me to the support and training site for UK and Ireland.

Down the left hand side of the page I was invited to Request a Catalog. I had a dilemma at this point because I didn't want to request an American catalog but rather a British catalogue. Fortunately, as it turned out I could do neither, because clicking the link took me to the site map, for the page could not be found. Well done Sun!

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I didn't want to request an American catalog but rather a British catalogue.


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