Fairlingo is the name of the online translation that was developed by Label305, for their client, Vertaalbureau Perfect. I played a big part in the development of its identity and concept. This item is about the translation platform.
The client was a traditional translation agency, employing several translators in-house. Needless to say, they were very familiar with the workflow in the world of translations. Its founder, Sam van Gentevoort saw an opportunity and took it. Instead of dealing with paper and regular mail, an office, and so on, why not pull translation into the 21st century and crowd-source it via an online platform? Thus the concept of Fairlingo was born.
Designing the experience and interaction
The platform should be accessible, friendly, and welcoming to all. Anybody should be able to become a translator and quality was assured through the community who would filter out the best and worst translators automatically. The translators themselves would do the translation work on the platform, and also check other people’s translation work. The fewer mistakes you made the higher your reward as well as your recognised language level.
It should also be easy for clients to send in work, so designing that came first. Below is a comparison of the wireframe I made and the final design of ordering a translation.
Gamification is an important part of the platform, so every translator had a badge to indicate their language level for each language they reported. During translation they would rack up points, which they could lose with every mistake another translator could find in their work. The goal was to make translation work as much fun as it could be while assuring quality.
Gamification aside, what about the interface itself? It was very important the interface would help user adoption. If the translators don’t like interface, or worse, can’t work with it, then the platform would fail. To assure a good interface I dived into the world of translators and researched the software they already commonly use. This resulted in an interface that translators immediately felt familiar with and readily adopted.
On the left the source material is put, a block per paragraph. Then, on the right, the translation. The blocks make it possible to translate and hand in work incrementally, instead of needing to make a full translation. This keeps the workload for translators light and flexible and throughput high.
Aside from the user flow and the wireframes, I also created the many illustrations the platform uses. To this day the platform is still running well and it remains one of the projects I am most proud of.