June 10, 2004
SAP i18n

i18n - Internationalization - is the process of making a product, or in this case, a website, accessible for users from multiple grographies. A multilingual website is not necessarily "international" and vice versa.

Case in point: I was invited in an international newsletter (a newsletter with a distribution to many countries) to parttake in a survey / sweepstakes on SAP's website. Completing the survey, I came to the area where one could enter one's address, and encountered the following not-so-funny error message (click to zoom), unfortunately seen all too often by non-North american citizens:

From a usability perpective, it's even dubious that the field is labelled "State" yet the error message refers to "Province" (which may or may not be the same, and there is no Province field on the form...). The drop-down box, of course, lists a listing of US and Canadian states and territories and has no option for "Other". I now live in Florida, France. Nice, eh? :-)

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