Writing this blog is a personal opportunity to reflect on all the things that have changed since I joined… and what has changed from 12 years ago, when we launched SDL Trados 2006.
I feel we have come a long way from July 2006 and with the launch of SDL Trados Studio in 2009 we made a significant step in making our leading translation software to use. From new features including AutoSuggest, AutoCorrect and Concordance Search, to User Interface enhancements such as the Customizable Ribbon and a flat icon design, not to mention recent innovations including upLIFT Fragment Recall and AdaptiveMT, we’ve always had the user’s experience at the forefront of our minds.
However, as we continue to engage with the translation community and get more and more feedback, we felt we wanted to go even further. Especially as 50% of our users feel they are not making the most of SDL Trados Studio.
This is where SDL Trados Studio 2019 enters, where the focus has been about User Experience or UX for short. A term that you hear more and more frequently in many different business world ‘arenas’.
First things first – what does User Experience actually mean?
Donald Norman is credited to have invented the term when he was the Vice President of the Advanced Technology Group at Apple. In his words: “I invented the term because I thought human interface and usability were too narrow. I wanted to cover all aspects of the person’s experience with the system including industrial design, graphics, the interface, the physical interaction, and the manual."
His original definition gives you a sense of what our Studio 2019 release is all about. It brings new ways to help you interact, learn, discover and make the most of SDL Trados Studio.
It is undeniable that translating and managing localization projects is complex. Inevitably the tools used by professional translators and project managers need to cater for a huge range of scenarios, way of working and file types.
All of our surveys and research indicates that things are just getting even more complicated. With quality remaining essential (our TTI survey indicated quality is 6 times more important than cost), it is under pressure from shortening deadlines and the increase of small and micro-translation – small projects or in some cases a few words which need to be translated quickly.
It is no surprise that SDL Trados Studio over its 34-year history, added a myriad of features and functionality to cope with the forever increasing complexity of the translation world.
With this release, we wanted to make your journey and experience in Studio better, easier and faster. Ultimately the better your experience with Studio, the faster you can work, the more time you can dedicate to ensuring high-quality translations.
I hope you will be able to get a sense of how a better user experience plays a big part in driving both sides of the coin. If we can save you a click which you perform 50 times a day – that is a lot of time you could save, which you can spend doing better, more productive things.
So let’s have a more detailed look at what this really means in practice.
First of all, we looked at the entire journey in Studio both from a beginner’s perspective as well as an existing user. We’ve re-thought the tools we provide to make sure you can quickly make the most of the software, of a new feature or of an area in Studio you might have not used before.
SDL Trados Studio 2019 introduces on-demand tutorials, tips and tricks – a new way to learn and discover Studio. From the minute you turn Studio on you will have access to a number of relevant videos, advice and tips on how to use a particular section of the product. Whether it is the project management tab or the editing environment, Studio 2019 gives you expert guidance on-demand.
I believe that this new feature not only benefits the user directly but can be very beneficial for team managers who need to constantly on-board new staff or new freelancers who might be unfamiliar with Studio. It would enable them to bring new users up to speed a lot quicker.
Instant Access to Everything
One of the new features I am most excited about is ‘Tell Me.’. I have been showing this new feature at many SDL Trados Roadshows and both existing sophisticated users, as well as novices, could see the value of this new feature. Did you know that Studio has over 700 commands and 1300 settings?
The depth and power of Studio can feel daunting at times but ‘Tell Me’ makes the sophistication of Studio easier and much faster to access. With Tell Me you can reach any feature, setting or command very quickly. In fact, in some cases up to 4 times faster than in previous versions of Studio – pretty impressive. All you need to do is start writing a command name and Studio 2019 can take you there.
Not only you can access commands more quickly – but you might also discover new functions and features that you might have not known existed.
With Studio 2019 you will get instant access to everything. Not just for you but also for other people you might be working with – imagine how easy it’s going to be to get to a command. Just tell them to type ‘LookAhead’ for example and Tell Me will take them to the right screen to activate the feature.
Changing Project Management
We have heard it at many events, we have seen it in two of our surveys – more and more translation jobs are being sent as ‘micro’ or small translations and are updated mid-project. These usually include a few, dozens and in some cases hundreds of small files that need to be translated in a short space of time.
To maximize the time spent on translation we wanted to simplify creating projects which are made up of lots of small files, as well as making it easier for projects which you have already started.
SDL Trados Studio 2019 brings a new Project Wizard where you can create a new project with 28% less clicks, saving you time. It is also easier to navigate when you need a more complex set-up.
Studio 2019 also tackles the mid-project updates, making it over 80% quicker than in previous versions of Studio. Adding an updated file is now super-fast and easy!
Whether you spend 100% of your time managing and creating projects or you’re a freelance translator who just needs a better way to start a translation job, I am sure the new Project Creation Wizard and updated features will prove to be a huge time and click saver.
We want to make sure you have as much time as possible to spend on delivering and retaining the perfect translation. As part of this, we wanted to enhance two areas of Studio which I think can really help: QA Checks and Translation Memory Maintenance.
Studio has a comprehensive set of QA checks to help you reduce the risk of errors in a translation: punctuation, numbers, specific ways of writing words etc. In SDL Trados Studio 2019, these can be set at language level so that you can always have the most relevant language-specific set of checks. QA check reports now include the source and target segments and also allows for a much quicker assessment of the quality of a translation before review.
The way we display the errors spotted by Studio has also been vastly improved so you can make better corrections.
Translation Memory Maintenance also gets an update. At the end of the day, all those translations that have been created, thought through, reviewed and signed off, are stored in the translation memory. We felt it was important to make sure maintaining this valuable asset and keeping it in the best shape possible was easier than ever before.
Therefore, lots of changes have gone into the TM Maintenance interface so you can see a lot more units (1000 segments instead of 200), you can navigate more easily to any TU page, as well as improvements on how you search and commit changes.
What I have highlighted today is just a high-level summary of how SDL Trados Studio 2019 can benefit you. We have also prepared a number of videos, emails, webinars, web pages and later in the year events where you will be able to find out more on how Studio 2019 can help you translate even better.
At the core of this release what we wanted to bring to all our users – whether beginners or experts, translators or project managers – was a better experience that can lead you to better results. I hope you enjoy learning and using the new SDL Trados Studio 2019!