WordPress Translation Day 3 - a bit of background
WPTranslationDay is a 24-hour global event dedicated to the translation of the WordPress ecosystem (core, themes, plugins).
It’s a unique and innovative event, a cool mix of digital and physical: the international community of the WP Polyglots will meet at the same time locally and digitally for a 24-hour translating marathon that will provide inspiration and training to both coders and translators on localizing and internationalizing through live talks and local meetups.
In 2017, for the third edition, I was asked to take the design lead for the project. It was a special year, as the celebration was double: September 30 2017 was also designated as International Translation Day by the United Nations!
The WordPress Community is an amazing group of people and together they manage and curate the WordPress platform and have contributed immensely to the creation of the entire WP Ecosystem, one that thrives and provides opportunities not only to those needing a sustainable and accessible platform but also has created a flourishing business and employment context worldwide.
The Polyglots are the volunteers, within the Community, that translate the core and many of the freely available plugins and themes into - currently - 169 different locales, thus allowing an immense amount of non-US-English-speaking users the opportunity to make the most of the platform. All for free, all volunteering their time and competences.
I have been a part of the WP Community for a couple of years, and given my dual native language and my experience with translation and transcreation, it was almost impossible not to become involved with this Team (and not to make it a part of my world).
Given my background as a brand designer, my first concern was, obviously, to give the project (and the team) a more defined visual identity. the two previous editions were bravely, and almost single-handedly, put together by Petya Raykovska, the Global lead of the WP Polyglots. In this occasion, we could inherit the great foundations and have it grow larger and stronger. In my personal vision, I wanted this event to become a "virtual global WordCamp" and the official celebration of the work of the Polyglots.
Being a Community of volunteers means working with the good will and the free time of the people involved. It also means working with what is available in terms of both resources and time. I wanted my effort to be one that could become a foundation for the Polyglots also in terms of communication assets and visual identity, and I believe we successfully achieved just that!
As is practice within the Community, early stages of the work were shared publicly and discussed. Relevant feedback was then incorporated in later developments. Here one of the shared document of the early stages.
As an event, there was no real need for stationery, with exceptions of a letterhead, used to paginate the Press Release I wrote (downloadable here).
Crafting an awesome experience
Once we had a visual identity for the team and the event, the next step was creating a captivating, playful and interesting website to capture attention and cultivate momentum. My idea was to create a "live" website, one that would transform and evolve as time passed and the date of the event approached. I need to spend a few words on the volunteers that with me worked on making this entire project a true success.
First and foremost, our Global Lead, Pascal Casier a cool and stable guide throughout the process. Then my favourite developer on this side of the Universe: Xenos (xkon) Konstantinos who stood by my crazy iterations and managed to turn my vision into a navigable experience. And a big shout-out goes to Tor-Bjorn Fjellner and to the amazing Jb Audras who helped my data-visualisation efforts come together (alas within the restrictions of the moment).
The idea was to establish an "evolving" landing page by changing the hero image and the front-page content as time progressed. We began with giving an overview of the project and a CTA of "save the date". Since we wanted the website to be as "live" as possible, we added a countdown to the start of the live event.
We then followed with an alert when we published the schedule. Working on a 24hr timeline based on UTC time, we included the automatic indication of time in the viewers time fuse, along with links to bio and talk description.
The next change in the landing was on the day of the event: a video inset provided an immediate link to the live videos (as well as the opportunity to quickly get to the full-screen page with the live streaming).
Below that, a stat visualisation section provided live numbers on translated strings and active translators. Unfortunately, there was simply not enough time to resolve some of the technical requirements necessary to provide more data to be processed: it is worth remembering that this entire project went from idea to execution in about 10 weeks, and that the website production lasted about 6 weeks, all in the spare time of the volunteers. We are aiming, for next edition, to be able to provide more live stats, to show the world the mightiness of the Community effort!
We also wanted to give relevance to the local events that were organised worldwide for the occasion and created an interactive map of the locations with links to web details. It is important, and we did achieve this result, to give a one-look view at the effort and span of the work of the volunteers. Hopefully with access to more data, next year we'll be able to produce even more amazing results.
While the landing page provided the primary content at any given time of access, we made sure that the website contained all the proper, necessary and opportune information for all users. Content was added to the menu as it became available assuring the most fluid experience and ease in search-ability.
Special attention and lotsa love was given to producing communication assets for both the Community (posters, badges, social media covers) and the Media who could access all its material (Press Release, visual assets) on a dedicated page. Special "marketing" assets were produced for social media tweets and posts. A warm shout-out here goes to Outreach Lead Naoko Takano and Communications Lead Birgit Olzem.
The response of the Community was beyond amazing, check out the #Mentions page on the website.
Lastly, it was important to further and consolidate the brand signatures to create continuity and to support the speakers, so I produced a set of coordinated slides masters (ppt and keynote) to be distributed to speakers, as well as intros and outros for on-demand videos of talks.