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What Happens in Space, Stays in Space

December 10th, 2009 by Liesl received 2 Comments »

In a slightly more banal lost-in-translation disparity than the whole “crisis-opportunity” thing, the French the word for upload and download is technically one and the same: Télécharger.

While many French interfaces dodge around it by using recevoir/envoyer or importer/exporter for clarity, I think it’s neat that for “Télécharger” the focus is on the action in space (data transfer), rather than whether the user is sending or receiving. In building sites, we often spend a lot of time focusing on labels, buttons and instructions (after all, great interfaces = copywriting) that sometimes we forget to describe what is happening in space.

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Posted under: Computers, Lost & Found in Translation, User Interface, Web Development

2 Responses to “What Happens in Space, Stays in Space”

  1. Dimitry Z says:

    I would state that a great interface = copy-writing + design + functionality :)

  2. admin says:

    Hey Dimitry, good point!

    I guess what is comes down to is that a great interface is well-planned AND well-edited on all those levels.

    Poor interfaces feel like the first draft of something, afterthoughts or over-thoughts, rather than what has been edited for the right purpose. It’s like if Nike’s slogan had been “Hey, just do it like that,” the idea is in there somewhere, but it needs to be paired down, focused, aimed into “Just do it.”