Creating a Consistent User Experience

In this article

Usability of our complex features is decisively enhanced by wording and good translations, and as much consistency as possible. It is worth thinking about many expressions or sentences for a little while. :)

Please note the following:

1. Consistent Wording

Use only one expression for a certain feature, do not mix two possible expressions. Examples:

  • Check for existing expressions and re-use them in new strings
  • Use "navigation", not "routing", throughout.
  • Use "tracking", not "monitoring"
  • We use "position" for where you are, while "location" refers to arbitrary points
  • We use "destination", not "target"
  • We use "speed", not "velocity"
  • Know the difference between "elevation" and "altitude"
  • It is "OsmAnd" now, not "Osmand" :)

2. Authoring Text

  • Please try to re-use existing string constants as much as possible, it is good for memory and performance.
  • For highly re-usable strings 'XXX' we often have a shared_string_XXX
  • Strings are often re-used! When changing existing strings, please double-check with all their occurrences in the code
  • Unnecessary text clutters screens without helping much. Please be short and precise, only add words which convey necessary information.
  • Please double-check the appearance of wording in the app, in particular on low-density devices. Too many line breaks, cut-off text or blown-up menu buttons may make a screen or dialog unusable.
  • In some cases there are conventions, which may be worth checking, rather than "inventing something". So if 99% of commercial navigation systems in your language announce "you have reached your destination", then using "you have arrived at where you wanted to go" may not be the best of choices... :)
  • Clearly mark all features which require Internet access with the expression "online".
  • The base language for OsmAnd is American English. There is a translation folder for British English for all expressions and spelling that differs.

3. Rendering

  • A note about rendering: The map appearance of our Maps styles has been tested for usabilityand visibility at a multitude of map locations, with many devices and screen technologies, and under different light conditions. "Spontaneous improvements" to the renderer are almost always questionable, may at least require more investigation and testing than you may think... :)

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