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Internationalization / Globalization in Silverlight - Part 8 - UI design/layout implications

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Ross Wozniak
Ross Wozniak
Joined Feb 19, 2010
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2 comments   /   posted on Feb 26, 2010

This article is compatible with the latest version of Silverlight.

One important thing to keep in mind when internationalizing your application is that things may not look the same in another language, and I’m not just referring to the text looking different.

My app looks like junk!

I’ve seen mixed reports stating that in languages like German a UI designer should expect the text strings to be as much as 40-60% longer, or more. What that means is that UI that you have designed to lay out just perfectly in English may just go down the tubes when you switch to German.

Monitor Resolution

As you are developing your app you may have your monitor set to a resolution of 1600x1200, or higher. Many software companies give their developers nice big monitors, and they get used to looking at the app full-screen at a high resolution. However, your customers may not be in the same boat.

I generally design for a minimum resolution of 1024x768, but there are folks out there that still run at 800x600…or lower! My recommendation is that you make your app look good, in German, at 1024x768, and at least acceptable at 800x600. If you do that, chances are it will look fine at higher resolutions.



  • ppopadiyn

    RE: Internationalization/Globalization in Silverlight - Part 8 - UI design/layout implications

    posted by ppopadiyn on Mar 01, 2010 18:20
    Nicely done, good series. I have a question. Is it possible somehow design time to change the Language (like WinForms)? Thus we could see how the string appears in the TextBlock and eventually to adjust its width.
  • -_-

    RE: Internationalization/Globalization in Silverlight - Part 8 - UI design/layout implications

    posted by Ross on Mar 01, 2010 19:51
    A very good question. I'm assuming by 'design time' you're referring to the ability to view the UI in different languages in Blend and make necessary adjustments based on what you see. Unfortuntately, I don't have an answer to that offhand, but will post something if I come up with one. In the meantime, if any Blend experts have a solution and would like to chime in that would be great!

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