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10 Reasons You Need Localization and Multilingual UX Design

Technological innovations have hastened the pace of digitization. More people are playing, working, and even shopping online. This presents a unique opportunity for businesses who already established themselves online through websites. For those businesses and individuals who have not moved online, there is no time like the present to do so. For any online venture to be successful however, the user experience (UX) is a very important part of the successful online venture. But how about expanding your website’s UX to internet users across the globe? 

The concept of multilingual UX is not a new one, though it may become much more common and beneficial as the digitization trend continues to rise. Moving online offers the business owner the opportunity to literally market to the entire world. 

While care should be taken to research the potential markets and ensure that they are at least potentially profitable, the proper design and implementation of a multilingual user interface to allow for interactive user experience will help to guarantee the success for virtually any online business. One common solution is the use of a translation company. It should be noted that it is also better to use a translation company that also offers localization services as this will increase the positive nature of the user experience.

Some of these benefits will serve to increase the efficiency of the UX design process, while others should increase the ability of the UX designer to sell their services to otherwise reluctant business owners. To that end, we have put together a list of ten benefits of the multilingual user experience that should be taken into consideration when setting up or expanding your online business and for the UX designer to know and understand.

Choosing Professional Website Translation and Localization Services

Just as there is a good reason for using the services of a professional UX designer, there is an equally important reason behind using a translation agency that specializes in localization services. Industry professionals are much more qualified and capable in terms of gaining more professional results, no matter the industry. 

The translation is about much more than exchanging one word for its counterpart in another language. It is at its heart, about translating the actual context and content of the message, no matter the lexical usage. There are common expressions and localized vernacular, all of which may literally translate into something entirely different. Thus, localization is also an imperative consideration before hiring a translation agency. 

Localization is all about translations that will resonate with the targeted audience, speaking to them not only in a language and manner that they will understand but with a practiced cultural understanding as well. This more nuanced and professional approach to translation and localization will further help to improve the overall UX designer experience as well, always leaving customers satisfied and wanting more.

Incorporating Translation and Localization in Multilingual UX Design

Multilingual UX design without website translation for obvious reasons. Localization, however, should be seen as an opportunity to provide a more localized experience for the end-user and should also be an important part of the UX design process. 

The translation may be looked at as a somewhat tedious chore, requiring a literal translation. A better way to consider this is to see it as an option to include language that will resonate more personally with the additional audience. It is estimated that fifty-five percent of all communication on the internet is in English, but that still leaves a lot of people browsing only in their native languages.

According to a rather old study posted in the Harvard Business Review, “nine out of 10 Internet users said that, when given a choice of languages, they always visited a website in their own language. Nearly one in five Europeans (19%) said they never browse in a language other than their own. 42% said they never purchase products and services in other languages.”

The integration of localization with the overall UX design should allow for cultural and historical aspects of the extended audience to be included as part of the overall website translation. References to local areas rather than more internationally recognized landmarks will add more of a local feel. 

The use of domestic heroes as opposed to those heroes of other nations will indicate a more personal recognition and help to generate a more positive response from the target demographic. This is also an opportunity to ensure that videos, photographs, and other visual components of the UX design may be used to again, reinforce the more localized views, and recognize local pride and prejudice. 

Multilingual UX Design Leads to Better SEO Results and Organic Traffic

Multilingual UX Design

The website translation helps to ensure that the content is available to a much larger audience. The localization services help to ensure that each market is targeted individually and on a more personal level. What may be easily overlooked is the fact that all of this together will greatly help to increase organic (or free) website traffic at the same time. 

For each language of the website translation, the site will rank for the related keywords not only in the original language but in all the additional languages as well. As more of the content is multi-purposed, the relative exposure to the search engines will increase at the same time. 

This will help to ensure that the website is much more easily found in all of the major search engines, increasing the flow of organic traffic from the search engines. This process can also be made much more effective through the UX design that also considers a multichannel approach. 

Global Gateways in Multilingual UX Design

Global gateways should always be implemented into the UX design. The global gateways allow the visitors to a website to be automatically redirected to the language native to their particular region. In the comparatively rare instances where a user may not speak the language native to their particular region, options for other languages should be included “above board” again, as part of the overall UX design for the benefit of the visitors to the website. 

Both the design and placement of the global gateways are an important aspect in UX and must be considered in the design. The means to select different website translations should be readily accessible the moment a visitor lands on the website. If they have to look, they will likely leave, thus making this imperative for a successful UX design.

Global Gateways in Multilingual UX Design

Global Gateways in Multilingual UX Design

Global gateways should always be implemented into the UX design. The global gateways allow the visitors to a website to be automatically redirected to the language native to their particular region. In the comparatively rare instances where a user may not speak the language native to their particular region, options for other languages should be included “above board” again, as part of the overall UX design for the benefit of the visitors to the website. 

Both the design and placement of the global gateways are an important aspect in UX and must be considered in the design. The means to select different website translations should be readily accessible the moment a visitor lands on the website. If they have to look, they will likely leave, thus making this imperative for a successful UX design.

Multipurpose Content With Translation and Localization

Multipurpose content can be a challenging experience for those new to the process. The complete multilingual UX design process makes this much easier for the website owner. All of the necessary translation will be completed, meaning that much of the marketing can commence as soon as the digital properties are up and running. 

This means that all of that content will now be able to rank for all of the relevant keywords, in all of the relevant languages increasing visibility on the search engine results page and increasing organic traffic across all of the targeted demographics. 

Again, with all of the translation already being completed, all of the articles can now be easily converted into podcasts in all of the targeted languages. Voiceover artists are easily hired and can provide clear and precise marketing materials to increase the organic traffic to the website, targeting it in the same fashion but through a different online medium. 

Once on the website, it will be necessary to continue to target the marketed demographic in their native languages, but that is also part of the principles regarding multilingual UX design. 

The Importance of Global Templates in Multilingual UX

Brand recognition is one of many keys to successfully establishing and maintaining a relationship with new customers. One of the areas where this is relevant to UX design is in maintaining consistency with the website, no matter how many languages it may be translated to for the potential markets. 

Many of the more advanced Content Management Systems (CMS) will easily allow for the creation of these mirrored pages. They may be more complicated in terms of some eCommerce website platforms, but this remains an important part of the overall UX design. 

This attention to detail makes a lasting impression with the customer base and gives a more localized and personal feel to the UX for the end-users. This additional emotional response can give the online business owner a decided advantage when trying to induce a more positive response from their viewers, ultimately resulting in an increased ROI.

Using Mirrored Page Layouts

According to the World Atlas, there are some languages which are written from right to left. “A majority of languages are written from left-to-right. Twelve are written from right-to-left. Traditional and simplified Chinese, several dialects of Japanese such as the Kanji, Hiragana, Katakana, and two dialects of Korean; Hangul, Hanja are either written from left-to-right or top-to-bottom.” 

In these cases, it is important to remember to “mirror” the page layouts for those website pages that are written in these languages. Again, this is as much about the localization strategies for the multilingual UX as it is about proper website translation. In this case, the localization strategies integrated into the UX design will have a positive impact and allow for a more interactive and complete UI built into the design.

Providing Multilingual Customer Service Through Chatbots

Multilingual Customer Service Through Chatbots

There is an increasing number of chatbots that can function across many different languages. These will generally do well for many websites that need only a limited amount of interaction. This is generally true for websites that are used to build email lists or otherwise serve to generate leads. 

Some website owners will have more in-depth and personal interaction requirements in order to sell their customers. For these clients, the UX designer may wish to use the services of a translation agency that offers video, VOIP, and other live customer support options. The UX designer should be able to determine the needs of their clients based on their individual requirements.

Taking Into Account Multichannel Options

The UX designer needs to keep in mind that the average online consumer is not only shopping across multiple devices but through multiple websites and online channels as well. An online search by an end-user may begin on the desktop at home, and from there proceed to the laptop hooked up in the car, ultimately ending up on their cell phone or other more portable devices. This is the original concept of multichannel UX design. 

In the digital age today however, this variation in devices is not the only multichannel approach in the overall user experience. Many users begin their search on Amazon and YouTube, both of which move back and forth as the second most popular search engine on the internet, coming in as either the second or third largest search engine online behind only Google on any given day. 

It should also be noted that this is generally only where online shoppers begin their search. Online shoppers are much more likely to scour the internet for information, generally across numerous websites such as Amazon, YouTube, Facebook, and comparison sites before deciding to purchase online. 

According to April 2020 research from Digital Commerce 360, “65% of consumers surveyed said they feel comfortable purchasing from merchants they’ve never heard of before”. The UX designer now has even more services that they can sell to the online business owner, including both multichannel and multilingual UX design services.

The Profitable End of Localization for Multilingual UX Designs

According to a 2019 article on the Shopify website, the global eCommerce industry numbers were impressive with Asia showing online sales at $831.7 billion USD, North America at $552.6 billion USD, Europe at $346.5 billion USD, Australia at $18.6 billion USD, Africa, and the Middle East at $18.6 billion USD and South America coming in with $17.7 billion USD in eCommerce sales. 

It was also noted that people shopping online are increasingly likely to purchase orders from foreign vendors. The percentages of people online who already have made purchases from foreign eCommerce sites included an average of fifty-seven percent of online shoppers globally, with over sixty-three percent of European shoppers and almost fifty-eight percent throughout Asia purchasing online products and services from foreign vendors. These numbers should provide a strong financial incentive to implement a multilingual UX for virtually anyone considering doing business online.

Why the Multilingual UX is Important Now

The digital age, the technological revolution, and the globalization of “netizens” is not some distant dream, but a current reality. For any business that wishes to remain competitive in an increasingly global marketplace, multilingual UX design is not only a solution, but it also remains the solution for the successful digitization of businesses around the world.

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