10 ideas for (web based) CAT tool developers

1. Design your app with speed in mind. Translators are fast writers – confirming a segment in 0,5 seconds may sound really fast but it can be an eternity for a translator.

2. Design an intuitive user interface. Hire a designer. Use colors, fonts and fundamental principles of UI design so that translators can quickly find what they need without looking up user´s manuals. (Nobody reads user´s manuals anymore.)

3. Team up with “real” translators during prototyping. Your colleague who happens to speak a foreign language is not a translator. “Team up” means that you should expect to pay them.

4. Make sure that text can be exported to *.doc etc. We like doing spell checks and other fancy stuff in MS Word and other third-party apps.

5. Make sure that multiple files can be aggregated in one single file. While translating, translators write down all the things they are not so sure about. This list can be long. Before delivery we like to go through this list and make amendments. It´s easier to do this in one single file rather than in 20 individual files. (Nobody will open 20 individual files at the end of a project to implement non-critical changes.)

6. Have the courage to delete features from your app that nobody uses. Focus on the essentials.

7. Create a Slack for CAT tools – one tool that integrates them all. Proliferation of CAT tools has been outrageous in the last 10 years.

8. Add an offline client to your web based app. Translators do work while travelling on planes etc.

9. Again, design your app with the translator in mind. Your customers may be larger enterprises, however, they can’t make the CAT solution work if they get resistance from their translators.

10. Allow external assets (TMs, term bases) to be added by the translator. This will ultimately increase the quality of the final deliverable.

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