Usability as a focus of multiprofessional collaboration: a teaching case study on user-centered translation

Suojanen, T., Koskinen, K. and Tuominen, T. (2015) Usability as a focus of multiprofessional collaboration: a teaching case study on user-centered translation. connexions: international professional communication journal, 3(2), pp. 147-166.

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As professional communication needs are increasingly multilingual, the merging of translator and technical communicator roles has been predicted. However, it may be more advantageous for these two professional groups to increase cooperation. This means learning to identify and appreciate their distinct but mutually complementary core competencies. Since both professions share the ideology of being the user’s advocate, usability is a common denominator that can function as a focal point of collaboration. While many translation theories focus on the reader and the target context, usability methods have not traditionally been a part of translator training. An innovation called User-Centered Translation (UCT), which is a model based on usability and user-centered design, is intended to help translators speak the same language as technical communicators, and it offers concrete usability tools which have been missing from translation theories. In this teaching case study, we discuss the teaching of four UCT methods: personas, the implied reader, heuristic evaluation, and usability testing. We describe our teaching experiences, analyze student feedback on all four, and report on the implementation of a student assignment on heuristics. This case study suggests ways in which UCT can form an important nexus of professional skills and multiprofessional collaboration.

Item Type:Articles (Other)
Keywords:Translation studies, user-centered translation, usability, heuristic evaluation, usability testing, personas, implied reader.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Tuominen, Dr Tiina
Authors: Suojanen, T., Koskinen, K., and Tuominen, T.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PH Finno-Ugrian, Basque languages and literatures
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Journal Name:connexions: international professional communication journal
Publisher:New Mexico Tech
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
First Published:First published in connexionx: international professional communication journal 3(2): 147-166
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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