As part of our continued drive to increase co-operation between language companies, we worked alongside Dynamic Language in Seattle to provide an information delivery system for the Association of Language companies (ALC) of which we are both members.
Our aim, and that of the ALC, is to improve quality and systems within the translation industry by allowing a free flowing exchange of ideas and information. At present association members are really only able to network at conferences that take place a few times a year. Together with Dynamic language, K International sought to increase this contact opportunity to an always available feature of membership.
We began by outlining the most cost efficient and easily accessible method for members to achieve this increased level of interaction and decided on the creation of a member moderated forum, alongside a blog format that could easily be updated with information relevant to members.
Dynamic Language would head development of the forum whilst K international would handle the blog and its design.
We set out by identifying the key requirements, such as ease of use, clarity and structured design. We opted to use the blogging platform WordPress primarily because we wanted it to be simple for inexperienced users to create content and allow us to step back to a degree once the website had gone live. WordPress contains a comprehensive set of administration tools to allow various authors and editors to work alongside one another whilst at the same time removing the possibility of damaging the underlying code. The other advantage of using WordPress is that it has such a far reaching community of developers and users, this ensures it will remain up to date with changing trends and technologies either on the web or mobile devices.
It was important to us that members should be able to access information from the ALC where ever they may be, reliably and quickly, WordPress allowed us to achieve our goal in this respect. That said, we needed to make sure the design and layout worked as efficiently as possible. Connection speeds, screen area and viewing platform were all key design influences that needed to be taken into account.
After multiple trials and different designs, we elected to use a clean layout that was both concise and not overly reliant on images or the advanced functions of WordPress such as animations and complex menu architecture. Whilst these things can provide a great looking website they also create an additional load on servers and an increased loading time for end users. When data use is at a premium these things are unnecessary and on mobile devices, often counterproductive.
The blog is now live at ALC Blog Content will be added regularly over the coming months and if anyone in the industry or even outside wished to contribute guest content please tweet the ALC via @ALC_US we’d be happy to hear your ideas for content.