GUI compliance poses major challenges for everyone involved in the process of localising equipment and the associated instruction manuals. Meeting these challenges requires the utmost care and attention plus a structured approach, efficient coordination of all parties involved and, of course, a high level of expertise.
medDOC® has highly qualified and experienced project managers, and even a GUI Compliance Manager support these processes with their expert knowledge.
The term Graphical User Interface (GUI) refers to a type of user interface that allows the operator to interact with a device. This comprises all translatable menus, buttons, warning messages and help texts which the operator sees on the device display.
GUI compliance means ensuring that all the texts and graphics that appear in an instruction manual or online help facility agree with everything that is shown on the device's display. First of all, this concerns the source language, and subsequently all the other language versions in which the user interface and instruction manual are provided.
Starting with the software programming of a device, medDOC® GUI compliance management ensures full coordination of the translation process for the GUI texts contained in the software and their further use in all other media associated with the device (such as the instruction manual). Ever-shorter product life cycles make it essential to accommodate device updates and developments, which in turn means translating changes to the original texts into the other languages and integrating them into existing media.
When a firm develops a new device and the associated software, the main focus is generally on technical questions. The task of preparing the device for subsequent internationalisation may not be considered at this early stage, even though it could later become a significant time and cost factor. Creation of the interface in the required languages is often left in the hands of the software developers. This can even mean that developers who are not native speakers input initial translations, making use of online translation tools.
2. Parallel production of GUI, instruction manual and help texts
Ideally the GUI, complete with all the translations, and the instruction manual in the source language should be produced first, and only then should the instruction manual be translated into the other languages. But often the nature of the development process means that this ideal scenario is not possible. Various overlapping processes combined with extremely tight deadlines frequently lead to a situation that is difficult to coordinate and control, not only for the translation provider.
The first step is for our GUI Compliance Manager to clarify with all the parties involved how best to organise the localisation process for the greatest efficiency. In addition to deadlines and required languages, another important factor is our customer's internal procedures.
At medDOC®, we place particular importance on involving the customer's development department in these processes. Our GUI Compliance Manager aims to achieve this at the earliest possible stage in order to establish direct contact with the relevant people.
Another important consideration is the form in which the texts can be made available for the translation process. Here are a few examples taken from past projects:
Before translation begins, we first discuss with you how the validation process is to be handled. Two options are available: you can either perform the validation yourself in-house, or take advantage of the convenient validation service we offer here at medDOC®. We can handle the entire process for you, including target country validation by your company's branches or partners in the relevant countries. We then provide you with fully validated translations.
This process also includes detailed discussion of the formats in which the instruction manuals or online help facilities are to be produced. In addition, medDOC® will ask whether you require DTP services (e.g. FrameMaker or InDesign) for your instruction manuals – available from our DTP department TechDoc – or whether the manuals are to be produced in a content management system.
We would be delighted to discuss these and any other questions with you in person ahead of your next project!