I struggled with planning my site and storyboarding because, initially, I could not get Locale Switcher to work. I resolved the problem but will explain it in case anyone else encounters this issue. The plugin no longer configures itself into the layout when installed. Instead, you need to insert a line of coding into the theme header. You must add the code to the new theme files when the theme changes or upgrades. Once it worked, I quickly realized its limitations and changed my vision for the site. I originally wanted separate English and German navigation. However, Locale Switcher translates the existing English navigation and content with limited capacity. I could not make a fully bilingual site with separate English and German navigation and fully translated content.
I hoped this plugin would translate the metadata, especially the item titles in the metadata. Americans hate reading foreign words. However, the items need their original German titles for accuracy and searchability. It is difficult to turn up relevant search results only using the art’s English titles because there are different translations or works by the same artists with similar titles. Locale Switcher will translate the metadata fields but not the metadata I have entered.
Furthermore, I realized that Locale Switcher would not translate the names of simple pages in the navigation, like About. My German test user reassured me that Germans who don’t speak English would still understand that. In addition, I discovered that if I changed any wording in the prebuilt navigation, it would no longer translate the words. So I had to give up my ideas of a customized user experience based on demographics to keep the translations working.
I started over with a simpler, more universal user experience that could easily switch from English to German. I want the Contribute section to be customizable based on language in the hope of getting great stories and photos from German users. Currently, the plugin translates the page and its functions except for a few words, and I will settle for that. I was glad I did my storyboards in pencil because I changed my mind several times. I didn’t have any Post-it notes or index cards and had limited scrap paper in my house, so I probably didn’t do my storyboards like I was supposed to. However, I tried to map out all clickable user actions on one page. I put the Contribute functions on a separate storyboard page. I tested the steps to ensure they worked as I had planned.
Unfortunately, the current navigation does not look how I envisioned it because I couldn’t move the galleries without crashing Omeka. I hope reconfiguring the theme or experimenting with Exhibit Builder will resolve this. Additionally, I browsed the Rosenzweig Center’s projects to find a site that looked and functioned similarly to what I had in mind. Finally, I found Dr. Michele Greet’s Transatlantic Encounters, which looks a like how I want my project to be. However, I have no idea how to go from what I currently have to that polished site.