Software transcends cities, countries, and even continents. Thanks to the internet, a piece of software can be available to anyone at any time, which is fantastic if you’ve created a useful program or software tool.
The problem is, if a potential user struggles to navigate your software due to a language barrier, they wouldn’t enjoy the full benefit of your solution. In some cases, user interface layouts and seemingly small details like measurement conventions can also be the culprit.
All these barriers can lead to bad experiences for your users, which in turn, leads to fewer customers and less success for your business.
Not to worry, though, there is a solution…
The software localization process.
Keep reading to find out more about the benefits of a software localization strategy and which elements to target.
What is Software Localization?
Software localization differs from internationalization (i 18n). In your localizing strategy, you change customer experiences to cater to multiple languages and cultures. Upon internationalization, a software developer or localization service provider must adapt the software user interface.
Internationalization describes specifically designing and developing a new product or application for a local audience that differs based on culture, region, or language. Internationalization enables localization projects. Instead of coding languages individually, internationalization uses placeholder code to return language for the user in any language without engineering modifications.
How are localizations implemented? Software localization means adapting software’s language, appearance, and feel in order to meet particular audience needs.
Software localization involves updating everything from your user interfaces to documentation to cater to multiple languages. Images and other formats are examined and adapted to the new audience. The software is adapted linguistically, culturally, and physically, so that the new user feels that it was originally created for them.
Is Software Localization Necessary?
It depends. Do you want to target a global audience and provide them with a software solution and user interface that they can easily navigate, understand, and connect with? Then yes, a software localization process is necessary.
With only 1.35 billion proficient English speakers in the world, there is a large percentage of the population that is excluded from your localization software solution. On top of this, around 65% of people with high English proficiency still prefer content (or in this case, software) in their own language.
If your software solves a pressing problem—and has a lack of competitors—you may still find success without localization. But, this relies on no slick tech entrepreneurs coming in to better serve your customers.
Besides improving the user experience, a software localization workflow also ensures that you abide by local regulations and cultural conventions. These modifications ensure that your company doesn’t offend your new customers or break any laws.
Bad first impressions are hard to fight back from, so give your software (and company) the chance for success that it deserves. You can achieve global success with localized software that caters to the need of various target languages of international markets.
Software Aspects that You Must Localize During the Software Localization Process
A lot of work goes into creating a software localization workflow solution worthy of global expansion—and the same goes for localizing it. Each aspect of your software needs to be assessed on its own and as part of the software localization process. This ensures that you create the best user experience for each new market.
Localized aspects such as your website’s product information, content within your software, and even your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy all play a role in your success. If you leave even one crucial feature out of the localization process, your results are guaranteed to be subpar.
To ensure success, here are your software’s key aspects that need a localization workflow:
For your software to be usable by your customers, you must ensure that they understand the programming language within it. This is a critical element in any localization process. Even if you’re expanding your reach to another region that speaks the same language, there are bound to be region-specific language conventions. For example, the difference in grammar, spelling, and slang between American, Australian, and Canadian English. Your content needs to support multiple languages.
Your software’s content can be anything from menus, buttons, and instructions to dialogue in games.
The main way that potential users will learn about and download your software is through your website. While localizing your software will make it more usable, it doesn’t help if your customers aren’t aware of its value.
On your website, you’ll need to localize key information about the software. This includes elements such as the name, description, benefits, help guide, and any marketing material.
Graphical Content and User Interface
Graphical content is important for conveying certain information or giving the user a sneak peek of your software regardless of whether it is email validation software or task management software. If you’re going to show potential customers previews on your website, you should make sure that you’re using media that’s been localized.
Sometimes you may need to adapt your logo, color scheme, or photos to fit a region’s cultural and religious beliefs. For example, they switched the Red Cross for a red crescent for predominantly Muslim countries to accept it.
Measurement, Addresses, and Currencies
Measurements, addresses, and currencies will fall within either your software content or website information. But they’re so important that they deserve their own section. Does your software functions as a marketplace such as a mobile app or eCommerce website? Then getting these right is even more crucial.
Getting customers to make a purchase is all about increasing their excitement. You also need to make the buying process as easy as possible. If customers have to go in and out of your app to figure out the local price or if they’re unable to input their address correctly, they’ll likely shop elsewhere.
Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
With advertising costs growing, it’s a good idea to take advantage of organic reach through SEO. And since you’ll be targeting a fresh audience, you’ll need to make sure that your SEO strategy is effective for the new language or region. After all, if your customers can’t find your software, how will they rave about it to their family, friends, and co-workers?
But, the best part about conducting region-specific SEO campaigns is that they can even boost your existing page rankings and domain authority.
Last, but not at all least important, is abiding by the new region’s laws. You’ll need to ensure that you’ve localized return, refund, and tax policies. You also have to abide by any other consumer or country laws when selling and advertising your software. This aspect is crucial as you’d hate to have a successful launch overshadowed by lawsuits and court hearings.
Make Your Software Localization Changes Today
Are you planning on expansion? Or if you’ve launched without localization software? Then it’s crucial that you start a software localization project as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the further away your success becomes.
At Day Translations, we know what it takes to localize software for new regions. Through our proprietary localization strategy, we’ll ensure that your software is ready on time with 100% accuracy. No matter what industry you’re disrupting, give us a call on 1-800-969-6853 to receive a free software localization quote within 10 minutes!