19 Apr 2017

4 tips for better localisation of wearables

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wearables localizationWearables are more than just a new fad. As technology develops the demand for wearable devices will continue to grow in the future. Wearable tech becomes more fashionable and less visible, which is why increasing number of users across the world decides to invest in a smartwatch, smart clothing, smart glasses or healthware.

What does it mean for business owners and wearable producers?

It’s time to fully exploit the potential of wearables.

Not just on one market, but across the world.

To make sure your users can easily access the device and take advantage of its features, consider localisation. Offering the user interface in English only is no longer enough to tap into the international market and increase the sales across the world.

Below you can see 4 tips for successful localisation of wearable tech which will help to better position your product on the local market.

1. Build the right user interface

Don’t focus only on the text that appears on the screen. Localisation is much more than just replacing the original strings (e.g. in English) with the translated text. To make sure your user interface is friendly for your global users, develop the right experience that is adjusted to your German, Spanish or Polish speakers. Start from translating the buttons, text fields and commands to the local language, but remember also about user manuals and forums. Everything related to your wearable has to be adapted to your target market to provide great customer experience. If there are any ads displayed on the screen, make sure they are relevant to your users as well. Think about the way your target users interact with technology and wearable devices, maybe they have some particular preferences and needs that are not common among users on other markets. If necessary, implement some changes to the original UI to meet the expectations of your target users. Sometimes a little tweaking (e.g. changing the onscreen messages to voice commands) will help to achieve better sales results on the new market.

2. Adapt images and emojis

Does your wearable display any images or emojis used instead of texts? Small screen of a typical wearable means that UI developers have to be very creative. Images, icons or symbols help to solve the problem of a limited space on the screen, but may pose new risks once you start localising the product. Chances are that your graphic and emojis will have a different meaning on another market characterised by different culture, habits and preferences. Double check with your localisation team whether each graphical element is clear to avoid misunderstandings and confusion. 

3. Test the idea

Before you introduce your localised product on the new market, team up with local users and tests to see if there will be demand for your wearable. Listen to their suggestions on how to make the device more user friendly for the particular target group. Make a proper market research, find out if the wearable you want to sell really solves a problem that is present on the local market. Only then decide if and when your wearable can hit the market and whether and how it should be localised.

4. Test the product

Once the user interface and voice messages in your sport watch, fitness tracker or smart ring are translated and localised, it’s time to test the results. Correct functionality, proper use of language and cultural adaptation are equally important, so don’t focus only on verifying if the localised UI works as required. Collaborate with localisation testers to check if the product really speaks the language of your target users and whether it is adapted to the needs and expectations of your target consumers.

 

Wearables will grow in popularity across the world, so make sure your product is ready for the world. Attractive design and great performance are essential, but don’t forget to ensure that your users can understand important health instructions, voice commands or graphics displayed on the device.

 

About the author: Dorota Pawlak
Dorota helps businesses, organisations and individuals to communicate successfully across cultures in the online and offline world. She is an entrepreneur and a qualified translator specialising in IT and localisation of websites, games and software.

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