How SDL Put the Interface at the Heart of SDL Trados Studio 2017

As SDL’s suite of translation productivity tools evolved over the years, it became an incredibly feature-rich environment. This occurred because as product adoption grew, SDL kept adding in more features to fulfil the diverse needs of its global user base. While this made the product robust and sophisticated, it also presented a challenge to usability and the user interface.

There were external factors at work as well. In the last few years, the mobile and app revolution meant that consumers have come to expect a simple-to-use user interface (UI) wherever they interact with technology.

And so Studio 2017 has been designed to provide a highly user-friendly and simple interface while retaining the many features our broad user base requires to do their work.

The simplification of Studio’s UI started between the Trados 2007 to SDL Trados Studio 2009 versions. The Trados suite had always been a collection of tools and functionalities that operate together. And by 2009, the decision was made to bring them all under one central umbrella. Studio was launched bringing together the disparate components in one cohesive and simpler to use software. The journey has continued since and Studio 2017 is no exception, making the many different functionalities more easily accessible than ever.

First-time Users Onboard

With the rapid growth of the language industry there is a need to make the onboarding experience simple and smooth, especially for first-time users. As the translation productivity market leader, SDL Trados Studio 2017 has emphasized this segment of the user base, making the first time user’s encounter with the translation platform less complicated and more welcoming.

Welcome Screen

Once you click on the Get Started tab, you can access various resources such as Quick Start Guides, video tutorials, and a link to the SDL YouTube channel. As in the earlier versions, you still have all the useful features such as Project View, Files View, Reports View and the translation editing environment but they are all integrated much more intuitively now.

Drag and Drop is a hot new feature in SDL Trados Studio 2017. The Home tab in the Welcome view, for example, allows you to easily drag and drop a file for translation. The new drag & drop area on the Welcome screen makes it easier to start a Studio project. You can either drag & drop a single file or multiple files to start a new project.

Features like drag and drop and simpler language selection, along with educational how-to videos, make the user experience smoother and more accessible than previous versions which involved multiple steps for the users. With Studio 2017, the user will notice many subtle improvements such as the reduction of double clicks, and an overall ease in finding documents, tools, and other important features.

For example, you can now right click a single file or multiple files in Windows Explorer to start translating in Studio 2017. There is no need to browse for the files you want to translate within Studio, this can now be done straight from Windows Explorer.

Straight from the Browser

Also, “Recently Used Languages” lists are now available in both the Translate Single Document and New Project wizards so it is quicker and easier to set up your language pairs without the need to scroll through long lists. Similarly, “Reverse Language Direction” with one click when setting up your projects makes it faster to configure your language pairs during project setup.

Recently Used Languages

Also, Studio 2017 offers guided cloud connectivity to the user. The platform has a much better guiding wizard that takes the user through the processes intuitively and demystifies the features and tools.

Terminology is Key

Terminology is the unsung hero of quality translation. Having access to an authoritative terminology database is key to that all-important translation quality metric: consistency. In fact, according to the SDL Translation Technology Insights (TTI) survey, an astonishing 48% of all the rework in translation is due to deficiencies in terminology. Just imagine the potential gains brought by getting terminology right!

In light of this, Studio 2017 has added some special features to strengthen the terminology aspects of the platform. For example, for terminology specialists users, it has created a new layout for SDL MultiTerm, SDL’s terminology management tool. The good news is if you are a translator who wants to do simple terminology work you can do a lot of terminology work from the Studio itself now: there is no need to launch MultiTerm separately. The new version enables you to add, edit and search for terms within the SDL Trados Studio environment without having to open SDL MultiTerm Desktop.

MultiTerm Shines

SDL Trados Studio 2017 brings multiple improvements to MultiTerm. A new, clean default layout makes it much easier to edit entries without needing to go into ‘Edit’ mode. With fewer clicks, you can intuitively add new terms, including synonyms, or delete terms.

On top of this, there is a batch search/replace functionality and batch edit/delete functionality. It is no longer necessary to export termbases to perform these actions and then reimport.

Creating a termbase is a breeze in Studio 2017. The Termbase Wizard helps you create your own termbase. Studio 2015 SR2 introduced the possibility of creating termbases directly within Studio, so it’s no longer necessary to do it separately in MultiTerm. In fact, it can be done without even needing to have MultiTerm installed.

You can use termbases during the translation right from the translation Editor itself. Multiple termbases can be added to the project if you access Project Termbase Settings Dialogue. From there, you can create new termbases, using the same wizard and actions as you would in Multiterm.

You can also remove termbases for the project or change their settings to fine-tune how terminology is used. The new default layout also applies to the Termbase Viewer in Studio 2017, so it’s easier to add/edit/delete terms and add synonyms, fields etc. all from within Studio.

Also, upLIFT Fragment Recall can be used for term extraction from the TM on-the-fly as fragment matches can be quickly added to the termbase with a simple right click in the Fragment Matches window.

These features are hugely helpful to translators and reviewers. They not only improve the user experience but also add to their productivity.

Nurturing the Community

With the launch of SDL Trados Studio 2017, SDL is going beyond the platform itself—it is reaching out to the community of translators through a range of activities, such as providing free training and education, and holding webinars, and roadshows. The company is also offering typist tips, how-to tips for creating websites for freelancers, and tips for agency life (a lot of user experience is also about the translator or agency life).

Alongside these offline outreach activities, SDL has also created a space for the community online. It is a platform for users to ask questions if they have any difficulty, be it in web-experience management, technical content management, or language technology or services. There is a separate niche for a product community too. As a Studio user, you can be a part of this community to learn, meet and share with your peers.

SDL believes in solving the problems for its community of users and with the roll out of Studio 2017, powered by upLIFT and AdaptiveMT, along with strong usability tools and an attractive interface, SDL will continue to be the industry flag bearer for quality, efficiency, consistency and usability.