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UX – or “User eXperience” – is concerned with the user-centred design of a website: it focuses on the total subjective experience of the user and on whether the site meets the user’s needs. Questions include whether the site is easy to use, attractive and appropriate. Because the web is a multimedia platform, UX often focuses on visual aspects of the site (e.g. font, icons, colours, navigation). Yet, much web content is text-based, and there has been some effort to consider text as part UX. For example, some organizations produce style guides for content creators that suggest the particular tone and voice that should be adopted to appeal to site users. While UX guidelines aim to make web content engaging, other types of guidelines may also come into play. For instance, as organizations increasingly engage in multilingual website localization, controlled language guidelines may be applied to ensure that text can be more easily translated, often with the help of a machine translation system. The question of whether UX and translatability guidelines are compatible or in conflict becomes increasingly relevant, particularly when it comes to balancing time, cost and quality in multilingual website localization projects. This presentation reports on a multilingual (French and Spanish) recipient evaluation of web content that has been created according to two different sets of guidelines, and then translated using machine translation. The results indicate that there are some areas where the two sets of guidelines are compatible, but other areas where they are in conflict.

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