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Designing a Global Site

From: Marlin, Robert <Robert.Marlin@qwest.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 15:45:47 +0900
Message-Id: <>
To: www-international@w3.org

My name is Robert Marlin and I am an Interactive Information Architect for 
Qwest Global Services.

I was assigned a project to research common rules/guidelines for developing 
truly international sites because many of our large clients are 
establishing a global presence and want to design them properly.

I have checked many sites and have come up empty. Is that because there are 
no real guidelines set down yet? Or are they just hard to find.

For example, I see many sites use flags to represent languages. I don't 
feel that is appropriate, since how do you represent Spanish (Spain's flag, 
Mexico's flag, Puerto Rico's flag, Brazil, etc.?) Whichever flag you 
choose, you alienate the others. Flags are great for representing addresses 
(office locations, etc.) - but not languages.

What things are offensive to other cultures around the world - and should 
be avoided?

Even basic questions like -

Do people in other countries prefer pulldowns? Do they prefer nav buttons 
or do they use the search first?

Any information you can point me to (any source that would list issues and 
solutions or "things to think about" when designing International sites, 
etc.) would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks for your time.

Robert Marlin

Experience Architect

Qwest Global Services

425 Technology Drive

Malvern, PA 19355
Received on Thursday, 18 April 2002 02:45:59 UTC

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