The new Information architecture – How this affects SUMO L10n

We have been working on a new Information Architecture (IA) in SUMO, it sounds complicated but it just makes it easier for users to find the articles that they need.

Basically, it allows users to browse SUMO and narrow down the list of articles in a way that makes them confident they are choosing right article and if they don’t, it makes it easy for them to trace their steps back. The result is that user find the right article faster.

This new IA will come with a general SUMO redesign. Some things are just cosmetic changes, other things are changes to the way SUMO works. If you are curious about the changes, look at this screenshot that shows how the new SUMO home page will look like.

As a localizer you will be able to customize the News section of this home page, so that you can have the relevant information for your locale on the front page.

As you start browsing the site, the new intelligent IA will suggest the most relevant articles. If you wish to know more details about this, let me know and I can explain how the IA works its magic.

The most important change for you localizers is that you have less work, since you won’t need to localize the navigation articles for the desktop navigation pages anymore. They will be automatically generated by the smart IA. The (IA) pages will look like this Indonesian example.

As you can see in the previous mock-up, users will see the localized articles more relevant to their issue first. At the bottom of the page we will show articles in English that are also relevant to the topic selected but haven’t been translated yet. We think that giving the users who speak English in your locale the chance of seeing other useful articles is a further way of helping them.

We are considering two changes to the new “IA pages” and it would be great to get your opinion on these:

- making the “barrier” between the localized articles and the English articles more prominent, so that users aren’t confused if they see English content.

- having a message before the English articles along the lines of: “These articles haven’t been translated, you can help us do it, sign up”, so that we can recruit new localizers. We know how much work it is and we would like to help you find new contributors.

What you need to take into account is that we have several new strings on verbatim. Many of you have already translated them, so thanks for that!

Again, please let me know if you have any questions about this. The changes are planned to go live end of next week and we hope to be able to help more users faster thanks to these changes.

Please help us spread the word among localizers and send this to everyone in your locale, retweet and re-post :D

Let us know your thoughts on this: visit our forum, where this is also posted and we can keep all discussions in one place.