This evening, I found myself clicking and clicking to try to make a drop-down navigation pane go away. I finally resorted to page-refresh (cmd+R). That’s when I saw my mistake. Or the mistake of the designers.
The web is no longer dominated by English speakers: only about 1-in-4 Internet users speak English. Even native-English speaking countries have substantial populations that are more comfortable communicating in a different language. And some websites are required by law to provide information in alternate languages.
There are two types of multilingual content: web sites geolocated to a specific country and web content that has been translated for non-native speakers.
Don Norman’s The Design of Everyday Things did more than introduce me to interaction design. It became the foundation for almost all of my teaching/coaching/consulting. I read the book sometime in the mid-1990s, when my web design career was young.