When creating a product that is world-ready, you must make sure its documentation is globalized and localizable. Keep the content of your documentation simple, and follow basic writing style principles. Also, make sure your content (whether text, art, or multimedia) is culturally acceptable, politically correct, and inoffensive to an international audience, regardless of whether the material is to be localized. Write content that can be easily recyclable to save localization costs and to make localization easier. Avoid using country-centric graphics and icons so that you do not offend or confuse the reader. Finally, design your Help system so that it has global functionality. For instance, make all of the templates used to create your documentation "core" and global from the beginning. The scripting used within Help topics needs to function regardless of the locale that is selected.
Adhering to the guidelines in this chapter will have numerous rewards. It will improve the understanding of your content, not only by native speakers of your language, but also by international readers and localizers-which, in turn, helps to make it local izable. It will cut down on localization costs and, finally, it will contribute to having a product that is world-ready.