A website or app needs to speak well to the intended audience. Developers understand the importance of user interface (UI) localization to attain the goals of an online platform or website, especially for business sellers targeting the global market. But what makes a good localization strategy? How is it done? Learn the best practices of UI localization for a successful global launch of a website by reading below.
What Is Localization?
Localization refers to the process of customizing a webpage, website, or application, for a given locale or culture. It consists of a user interface (UI) that translates the displayed text. Website localization involves the translation of a website’s user interface into the specific languages of target locales, which impacts global launch.
7 Localization Best Practices
So, what are the most effective ways to ensure that your localization efforts and cost-effective and efficient? Check out the seven best practices below to keep you guided.
1 Determine the Common Challenges of UI Localization
Every little aspect will have a direct impact on the functionality and aesthetics of a website, particularly on the global user experience. Here are some of the challenges of UI localization for a global launch:
- Website text localization issues
- Character set issues
- Getting images right
- Formatting inconsistencies
To address these challenges and help prevent common mistakes, it’s necessary to implement an efficient localization workflow.
2 Ensure Proper Spacing and Resizing of Translated Text
The user interface’s text content brings some website localization challenges because of the difference between the English language and other languages in terms of size, symbols, and meanings. It affects the readability of words, phrases, and sentences. For this reason, you have to consider the proper spacing and size of text after language translation.
For a website that has been localized to make it compatible or work in different languages, the expansion of text should be considered. The text length may fluctuate during the translation process by 40 to 100 percent, affecting the look of the web user interface. It may cause confusion after the text has been translated.
Here are some examples of translated text issues in website design and their solutions:
- Unexpected Text Breaks Due to Long Language: For all translated languages, legibility is essential for various screen sizes and devices. Some languages tend to be much longer, like German. Unexpected text breaks may corrupt the website layout. The solution is to check for proper spacing and resizing of text after language translation.
- Acronym Discrepancies: Certain acronyms do not exist in other languages. It means that initials are written in full form or text. To avoid this, the element spacing must be resized after text language translation to avoid disrupting the layout of an app or website when acronyms are used in the web content.
3 Incorporate UI Localization practice into the Interface’s Initial Design
There are essential factors to consider when dealing with character sets or digitally displayed representations of a language, such as letters, symbols, and ideograms. While English utilizes the Latin Alphabet, other languages may use different character sets, such as logograms for Chinese.
The scripts also impact UI design, which may end up like a puzzle after translation. English language scripts are read from left to right, while Japanese and Chinese scripts are read from top to bottom. Arabic scripts are read from right to left, and the same is true with Urdu, Farsi, and Hebrew scripts.
The solution to character set and script issues is to adapt the layout, incorporating localization into the interface’s initial design. Take some time to think about global considerations to protect the interface integrity during the UI localization process.
4 Consider Pulled Data Placement
Inconsistencies in formatting, including dates, numbers, sentence structure, and postal codes, may significantly affect data processing entered in website forms. Also, it may affect communication with the online user, leading to poor user experience. That is why all the pulled data should have the right formatting by considering their placement.
For example, if you have a sales app with a sentence stating, ‘You have 100 total sales for a smartwatch.’ The number 100 will be from the database. While this sentence structure may work in English, other languages might interpret it differently. Instead of placing the database value within the sentence, put it at the end of the sentence. The sentence should state ‘Total sales for a smartwatch: 100.’
5 Get Images Right: Localization Best Practices
Images also have different meanings in diverse cultures. One picture can draw attention, either to inspire or to cause antagonistic views. Photos of people wearing a certain style of clothing may look cool and fashionable for some cultures but inappropriately dressed for others.
Embrace the best practices when creating images, making one image work for localizing visuals in most languages:
- Images to Avoid: Avoid using religious icons or symbols, hand symbols, body parts, and gestures. Political imagery, like flags. Also, avoid images of animals invoking emotional responses.
- Images to Use: Some of the best examples of images for a global launch include humans wearing modest apparel, abstract illustrations, images of nature, pictures of inanimate objects, and geometric shapes. Other examples include warning and traffic signs that are international, including ISO-globally symbols, such as modes of transportation, scientific symbols, professions, consumer goods, equipment, and devices.
6 Prioritize Local and Regional SEO
One of the important UI localization factors is search engine optimization (SEO), a digital marketing process helping increase a website’s ranking on Google and other search engines. Google is in use widely search engine with regional servers. So regional SEO would help rank a website in the regional search queries of the target audience.
Enhance website translation and localization by prioritizing SEO to help a website rank in various search engines, specific to a particular country or culture. Professional translation agencies or localization companies provide localization services for creating the best regional SEO strategies.
7 Keep a Clear Record of Key Terminologies
Find out the best method to deliver your message to your intended audience by being consistent with the terminology you use and ensuring that they mean the same thing as yours. Encouraging your linguists to determine the best way to translate each command is important. Demand solid research and take native app reference points to enhance website translation and UI localization.
Localization Best Practices Conclusion
Carefully planned localization and language translation are the keys to a successful global launch. You can do it by determining the common challenges of UI localization. Then, create a localized UI design by using neutral images and clear terminologies, resizing or spacing for texts and symbols, adopting localization into the initial layout, ensuring proper data placement, and prioritizing regional SEO.