One of the things I find the most frus­trat­ing about using the inter­na­tion­al web is when web­sites offer­ing Eng­lish ver­sions do not pro­vide an intu­itive way to find the Eng­lish ver­sion.

One of the most pop­u­lar ways of link­ing to the Eng­lish sec­tion is to pro­vide a USA or UK flag image. This is a lit­tle con­fus­ing to some users since it’s hard to dis­tin­guish between whether this tech­nique is for coun­try-spe­cif­ic infor­ma­tion or for Eng­lish infor­ma­tion. If a USA flag is used, for exam­ple, some non-USA Eng­lish speak­ers (Cana­da, Aus­tralia, UK, etc) may assume they need to click on the flag of their coun­try. Since their flag is not rep­re­sent­ed, they may look else­where.

I think such a link should be replaced with sim­ply a text link using the word “Eng­lish”.

As well, I believe all inter­na­tion­al web­sites that pro­vide Eng­lish sec­tions should pro­vide an address that incor­po­rates “en” (e.g. http://​www​.foo​.com/​en/ or http://​www​.foo​.fr/​en/). Even if the Eng­lish ver­sion is not easy to find, such a con­ven­tion would allow users to find the con­tent any­how.

About Kim Siever

I am a copy­writer and copy­ed­i­tor. I blog on writ­ing tips most­ly, but I some­times throw in my thoughts about run­ning a small busi­ness.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter at @hotpepper.

Free monthlywriting &social media tips!

Free monthlywriting &social media tips!

Sign up to receive monthly writing and social media tips.

Thanks for signing up for our monthly writing tips!

Pin It on Pinterest