It’s easy to overlook certain elements of your mobile app when working on a localization project. Your content may contain nuances that are tricky to convey to your target market. You may also be making a key, hidden cultural assumption about your target audience that misses the mark — it resonates with you because you’re used to it, but your target audience doesn’t understand its meaning. One must be careful of making these mistakes. A localization project is most successful when all of the elements and details help to communicate a cohesive story.
Here are five elements of your mobile app that you should absolutely remember to localize in order to deliver a resonating product to your target audience:
People click on links to be taken to a specific page. But the value of the link is rendered null and void if the content on the page is in a different language than the mobile app. Any business that is serious about localizing should make sure the links of its app go to pages that are in the relevant language or else maintain different web pages for different languages. When the site a link points to is in an irrelevant language, then the links doesn’t deliver any value to the user.
People respond easily to a denomination that is in their own local currency. It’s easier for them to make a decision on whether to buy or not when the price is listed in their own currency. When you opt to use another currency, you are making the purchasing decision much harder for them. Localized prices make the service or product more accessible to the base of users. Fortunately, many web store services automatically localize the prices for you.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Every image conveys a message and the viewer cannot help interpreting the image from her own cultural point of view. In localizing your mobile app, the risk of conveying an unintended meaning is real. Multinational companies like IKEA not only translate the prices and texts of their marketing materials, they often also shoot different sets of pictures with locally sourced models to ensure that the local target audience can relate to the images. Be sure to make sure your localization team is adept at being able to determine whether the pictures you are using are appropriate.
Symbolic associations are at the core of every culture. Colors, just like clothing or hair styles, are associated with different beliefs, ideas or values. When it comes to localizing mobile app, it’s worthwhile to research the kind of associations your target markets have for the colors you pick for your app’s visual layout. For example, the color green is generally accepted as a color of success and wealth in the West, but in China, the color is associated with harmony and health, and not necessarily money. Be careful what color palette you end up using, it’s an important element of your mobile app.
Words are important. The style of the content you present to your target audience matters. While it may be all right for you to get straight to the point when you talk to a Scandinavian, a more indirect approach may be expected in other cultures. It’s all about your choice of words and whether you should use the formal or informal way of addressing your audience. Be sure your hired team of translators fully understands the speech customs of the target country — you want your content to come across as friendly and inviting rather than unintentionally impolite or unkind.
Denise Recalde is a Senior Content Writer at Day Translations, a human translation services company. A seasoned writer and editor with eleven years of experience under her belt, she is a bonafide wordsmith who loves playing with the written word creatively and always takes care to lend a certain hue of snap and color to her drafts. Always one to rise up to challenges, she has traveled to 14 countries and has worked on a smorgasbord of writing projects that spanned several industries, from finance to health to beauty and fashion.
CEO and Founder at Mighty Shouts.