A global online community necessitates the exchange of content from many sources and across languages. Advances in the semantic web and linked data enable the aggregation of diverse content. Multilingual content provides potential for a richer information set while adding a layer of complexity to our projects. As information architects, we need to structure multilingual content to support its successful presentation and delivery. As user experience designers, we need to provide innovative designs that facilitate exploration of that content. How do different data modeling, linking, and ontology decisions affect the UX design? How can IA and UX support each other?

We’ll focus on two specific areas:

  • Structuring multilingual source content and enabling multilingual authors to contribute to a repository
  • Designing wayfinding that supports navigating, exploring, and understanding content in sites that are sourced from multiple languages

Drawing from our experiences in the digital humanities space, we’ll discuss real world examples for:

  • Data modeling strategies, ontologies, taxonomies and metadata that support a flexible, scalable multilingual information management system
  • Several multilingual data-driven interfaces and what they reveal about the challenges or opportunities in harmonizing multilingual content
  • Patterns for displaying and navigating to content that is provided in different languages