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MEMORANDUM

Date: 23 November 2013
To: Adam Stein, Communication Manager, Go Global
From: Melody Eye, Technical Communicator,  Go GlobalRazmus Kerwin Technical Communicator, Go GlobalNeha Koolwal Technical Communicator, Go Global
Subject: Recommendation for Creating an Hindi Variant of MS&T Web Site

Foreword

 Prospective Indian students viewing the Missouri S&T website must overcome both language and cultural barriers. We applied Amant’s theory approach to localize the Missouri S&T website and emulate the success of business websites.  This will help to overcome the language and cultural barriers, improve communications, and reach our goal of enrolling more Indian students.

Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations

We analyzed twelve Indian websites and found useful insights and patterns. One of the twelve websites was chosen as a prototype.  The prototype was chosen because it contained all of elements needed for the required analysis and most of the other significant website components.

The investigation and analysis lead us to conclude that it would be beneficial to localize the Missouri S&T website for Indian students. More students will be able to comprehend the website after the language and cultural barriers have been removed.  We recommend that the Missouri S&T website be localized for Indian students immediately. We will globalize the Missouri S&T(Attachment 1) website as a part of the localization process. This will facilitate the process of localizing the Missouri S&T website for other countries. After the website is globalized and localized it will increase the Missouri S&T population of international students. Missouri S&T could then attract the brightest and best students.

Introduction: Discussion of the Problem

Indian students do not feel like the Missouri S&T website has been localized for them. Their websites strongly favor Indian flag colors and often contain multiple languages. Many Indian websites have small logos and texts containing knowledge or engineering symbols. Their native websites are primarily designed for administrative  and faculty users.   Indian students feel neglected and ignored by the Missouri S&T website.  Indian students have a large presence at Missouri S&T and it is not wise to operate a website that offends them.

 Investigation

 Razmus, Neha and I surveyed several Indian university websites. We chose the Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad(Attachment 2) to be the example for our analysis. This website is suitable for analysis and comparison to other Hindi university websites.  It was the most user friendly Indian website.  It contained all of the elements we needed to conduct a fully developed prototype study. We chose the same primary elements that were used by St. Amant when he localized the Missouri S&T website for Indian students.

We compared our prototype to websites at these schools:

  1. Central University of Gujarat-http://www.cug.ac.in/index_hindi.html(Attachment 3)
  2. National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur -http://nith.ac.in/hindi/ (Attachment 4)
  3. Indian Institute of Technology, Madras-http://www.iitm.ac.in/hi (Attachment 5)
  4. Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay-http://www.iitb.ac.in/hindi/ (Attachment 6)
  5. Visva-Bharati University-http://www.visva-bharati.ac.in/hi/ (Attachment 7)
  6. Ignou: The People’s University-http://hindi.ignou.ac.in/ (Attachment 8)
  7. Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya, Bilaspur- http://www.ggu.ac.in/indexhindi.html(Attachment 9)
  8. Banaras Hindu University- http://www.bhu.ac.in/hindi/(Attachment 10)
  9. Jawaharlal Nehru University-http://www.jnu.ac.in/Hindi/ (Attachment 11)
  10. Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology-http://www.rgipt.ac.in/hindi/index.htm (Attachment 12)
  11.  Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi-http://www.iitmandi.ac.in/hn/index.html (Attachment 13)

Findings

We analyzed and compared the websites and found the patterns listed in the sections below.  Our findings came from comparisons to our prototype. We organized our findings in a list using the same test guidelines that St. Amant uses: Micro and Macro.  Our findings are listed according to the following elements: color, logo, page banner, banner text, header, hyperlinks, pictures, animated news feed, menu bar, search bar, quick links, contact information, entrance exam information, button and backgrounds.

 

Color

They used many of the colors found in the Indian national flag: blue, orange, green and white.

The list of schools with their colors

  1. Central University of Gujarat-orange, blue and white.( Attachment 3 )
  2. National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur- Many shade of blue, green and white (Attachment 4)
  3. Indian Institute of Technology, Madras-brown, gold, white, red and grey (Attachment 5)
  4. Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay-blue, navy, orange, white, green, red and peach(Attachment 6)
  5. Visva-Bharati University-brown, white, red, green and blue(Attachment 7)
  6. Ignou: The People’s University-blue, grey and red (Attachment 8)
  7. Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya, Bilaspur- blue, green, grey and red (Attachment 9)
  8. Banaras Hindu University- Blue , red, green,white and gold (Attachment 10)
  9. Jawaharlal Nehru University-Red, blue, white and cream (Attachment 11)
  10.  Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology-Green, Blue, brown and red (Attachment 12)
  11. Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi-black, blue, green and orange (Attachment 13)

 

Blue was the flag color most often used on the Indian websites. Blue is a calming color and it is often easier to read.  Blue is not as bold as black but it is a happier color and has a little more personality. As we reviewed the Indian web page we were surprised to find a small spectrum of colors. In general, the colorful elements of pages were restricted to narrow horizontal stripes. The rest of the websites generally consisted of white space.

Logo

The logo was almost always in the left top corner. It usually contained very few pixels and produced a small footprint on a typical screen. Most of the logos were round. Logos were often colored with national flag colors and always contained the school name. Some websites used a famous person or a religion figure as their logo.  Most logos depicted knowledge or engineering. Almost all of the websites for Indian schools contain the Sanskrit logo which is the traditional intellectual symbol in India

 Page Banner

The page banner is always at the top of the page and it is rectangular. The text includes the school name. Most of the banners were written in just Hindi or both English and Hindi, but a small percentage were written only in English. I found the English only site rather strange. None of the banners contained Indian national flag colors.  This is likely because those colors were used for the rest of their website.

Banner Text

The banner text is always written in Hindi. Sometimes it is written in both Hindi and English, but it is never written only in English. Font sizes and text alignment varied widely and without pattern.

Headings

Headings are written in bold Hindi text.  The font is a dark blue with the style of Mangal. Most of them are not written in the translated version of Hindi just the Hindi script. Here are a few examples of English words that are written in Hindi script; Highlight, and Webmail .

Links on page (hyperlinks)

The hyperlinks are generally grouped by content. They were rarely centered or preceded by bullets. The student-centered links display a preference for drop-down menus. Most of them did not abbreviate the full name of the links.

Pictures

Most of the pictures on the Indian website were in color and static. A few sites had only one picture but most of the sites had many pictures. Picture alignment varied widely.

Animated News Feed

Animated news feeds were few and they were rarely centrally located. They do not usually have hyperlinks and they scroll from bottom to top. The text is in Hindi and they occasionally have dancing text (“new”) in English.

Navigation Bar or Menu Bar

The navigation bar is normally located beneath the page banner. Most the time they use a top navigational bar that is usually small. They have a tendency to stretch the length of the page. The English button is prominent on the navigation bar.  The majority of the navigation supports administrative and faculty needs rather than student needs. White text is often displayed on a blue background or another national flag color.

Search Bar

The search bar is often a single-line and relative small. They typically use an open search function.  Special colors and text sizes are used to emphasize search bars on a page.

Quick and Other Links

The quick links were often reliable.  They were rarely placed on the right side of the page.  They were written in Hindi much more often than in English.

Contact Information

The contact information is typically located at the bottom of the page. The contrast for readability is often good. The words are written in Hindi but the numbers are often written in English. About 30% of contact information was written in white letters.

Entrance Exam Information

Few sites included entrance exam information. When present the entrance exam information was usually located in prominent places like quick links or the navigation menu. One website included the entrance exam information in the body of the text.

Buttons and Controls

Most of the websites had buttons, controls or a combination of both on most of the sites. They were often small. Student related buttons and controls were buried one level down.

Background

Website backgrounds were not a dominate facture and most of them were simple and plain.   Most of them contained a large amount of white space.

Social Networking

We were a little surprised to find so few social networking links. However, not too surprised since most of the site was designed for the administration and faculty.

 

Design Notes

The twelve Indians websites we analyzed were not well localized and many of their designs were blatantly out of date.  Many English sentences were poorly translated to Hindi. English versions of the websites were generally more up-to-date than the Hindi versions. Indians often use American design content management systems such as Joomla, WordPress, and Drupal to design their sites. Their code was all written in English and the page html file names were all English. Americans so dominate website technology that many translations are not fully completed. I think it is kind of sad because people who do not speak English and Hindi could be confused by their own national website. Indians frequently included pictures of their important leaders and religious figures in banners and the body of the web pages.

I noticed on one site they had a special link for people with disabilities. It was conspicuously located and users did not have to hunt for the link. They also offered classes for the deaf and blind.  I thought it was a unique factor.

 

Conclusion: Discussion of the Conclusions

My conclusion is that Indians like their websites to contain blue and they like simple sites.

Indian’s prefer small logos and small text.  Indians use the Mangal font more than 95% of the time. Most words on Indian websites are written in just Hindi or both Hindi and English, but a small percentage are written only in English. Localized sites are more likely to have both English and Hindi words.

Indian backgrounds are usually just one color.  Sentences often contain both English and Hindi words.  Sometimes English words are implemented in Hindi script when a full translation into Hindi words is not available. International communications has spread English and suppressed the Hindi language drastically.

Recommendations

 

Color- Choose blue and Indian native flag colors. Use lots of white space.

Logo- Use the Sanskrit logo that is the traditional intellectual foundation in India with the school name on it. Make sure it is small and round.

Page Banner- Keep the page banner rectangular. Keep the school name but have it in Hindi or in both English and Hindi.

Banner Text- Should be in Hindi

Headings- Make the headings in bold Hindi text.  The font should be a dark blue with the style of Mangal. You do not have to translate the text you just have to put to into script.

Links- You will have to make sure the links are grouped by content.  This is not always true on the Missouri S&T website. Remove the bullets.
The student-centered links need to be drop down menus. Do not abbreviate the link’s full name.

Pictures- Use multiple pictures to avoid slide shows.

News feed-You might want to remove News Feeds. If you keep it, you should make sure it scrolls from bottom to top and add animation.

Menu bar- Do not move the Menu bar.

Search bar -Keep the search bar. Do not move it.

Quick links -Get rid of the bullets and organize them by category.

Contact Information-Do not move the contact information.

Entrance exam information- They don’t really need this information. I think it is a good to have information about the GRE or SAT.

Button-  Buttons should be made small.

Backgrounds -Backgrounds are not really need. They are optional and Indians appreciate white space. They could take it off or leave it there.

Social Networking – Probably should remove it from the site. It could stay and would not be a big issue.

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Technical communicators:

 Melody Eye

Phone: 573-840-8484

Email: melody.eye@gogobal.com

Razmus Kerwin

Phone: 573-835-8118

Email: razmus.kerwin@gogobal.com

Neha Koolwal

Phone: 573-833-8118

Email: neha.koolwal@gogobal.com

Distribution:  Razmus Kerwin, Technical Communicator, Go Global