Localization

West meets East: Personalizing for Asia

One size does not fit all. In this day and age, highly divergent markets have prevented companies from adhering to one fixed formula. When setting out to conquer a new business environment, companies must reengineer their structure and align their business models to local market imperatives in order to remain relevant to end consumers. As...

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User Experience Takeaways: Still Hungry for Localization Change

Readers of MultiLingual magazine will know about the “Takeaway” section towards the back of the publication. It’s a kind of bully pulpit-meets-12 Step meeting “burning desire” platform, along the lines of U.S. public radio station KQED’s Perspectives program. I have written a few MultiLingual “Takeaways”, and made other contributions, on user experience-related topics that frankly do my...

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How Well Do You Know Your Local User? Take A Walk (or Run) In Their Shoes

How well do you know the local market? What assumptions do you operate on? Well, take a look at this post “Design Time @ Run Time: Putting the Apple Watch Through Its Paces in Beijing” over on the Oracle AppsLab (@theappslab) blog. It’s a shoutout for the user experience practice of ethnography or doing user research...

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Going Native: Chinese Mobile UX

Shout out for a great article by Dan Grover (@dangrover), writing about Chinese mobile app user interface trends. Dan relocated from San Francisco to China, and used this move to document and share some great insights into Chinese user experience that are invaluable for localization too. Check out the examples. I love the sections on how discovery is...

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Sport and Localization: I'll Run With That

I’ve just completed the Florence Marathon 2014, or La Maratona Di Firenze, if you prefer. A fairly respectable time for my little legs. It’s not my first marathon, but it was my first in Italy. Again, moving around the world as I do, a personal event offered me some nice insights into how local culture reshapes...

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Über? An Unterwhelming Understanding of Local Markets?

Uber has been banned in Berlin. Perhaps the offering should have used an umlaut (Über) to get across the idea of a superior user experience to locals (or at least to Heavy Metal fans), but that wouldn’t have solved the problem here. I use Uber all the time to get around San Francisco, and I love it. However,...

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Number Isn't Up for Global Website ASCII URLs

Nice piece on NPR (U.S. National Public Radio) called Chinese Find Number URLs Easier Than Letters.  The piece has some interesting examples  from China about using numbers as homophones for well-known  Mandarin phrases because of lack of browser support. For example, McDonald’s China website address isn’t www.mcdonalds.cn, it’s actually www.4008-517-517.cn. “5-1-7” in Mandarin means something along...

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Localization: Culture and Context Cuts Both Ways

We often make the mistake of assuming that all source material intended for localization for a target country or region is in English and that conventions from the source locale content can be easily accommodated in localized versions. But, here’s an example from Nintendo to show the kind of problems that can arise when localizing...

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