18 May 2017

Three keys of successful mobile app localisation

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Mobile app localisationTo attract more customers and build awareness of your business you have to become a mobile star. For most business going mobile is no longer an option, but an essential requirement. From making your website mobile-friendly to developing apps for your brand – there’s a lot you can do to use the mobile potential and boost your business. To unlock this potential eve more, you can go one step further and localise your mobile app to reach out to users and potential customers across the world. Useful and attractive content won’t be enough to make your app valuable to your target audience. So, once you decide to step in the world of localisation, consider these three points to ensure that your mobile app is ready for the global users:

1. Internationalise your app

To make sure your application supports other languages, special characters, measurements units, number and date formats etc., you’ll need to start the localisation journey from internationalising your source code. Internationalisation will help you ensure that the product is language-neutral and ready to handle any peculiarities that may show up in different locales. Skipping this step may lead to sever consequences – somewhere in the middle of the localisation you’ll suddenly discover that your app can’t display Arabic alphabet, Polish special characters or you’ll find out that your layout is too limited to support languages that usually have longer words than English. Using the right encoding, extracting UI strings from your code and providing slightly more space for longer strings will make the localisation smoother and easier.

2. Work with qualified translators

Crowdsourcing or automated translation might be tempting ideas, but you’d be better off if you resist and avoid cutting corners. Your app will be ready for the new market and new users only if it’s translated by qualified translators who have experience in app localisation. Your team of professional translators will make sure your product is adapted to your target markets not only linguistically, but also culturally. Maybe some strings, icons or animations in your app wouldn’t resonate with your potential users in a foreign market or maybe you’ll need to rephrase your app store description to promote your product more effectively – you’ll find out whether you need some extra tweaking or not only if you work with a professional team.

3. Adapt your content to the market

When you’re localising your app and planning to introduce it in the new market, you’ll need to be aware that not all content types are right for all kind of audiences. Depending on your industry, your offer and the purpose of your app, you might need to add, remove or modify some items in your original user interface. Does your mobile app enable quick purchases of your products and services? Make sure you support local payment methods and display prices in the local currency. Are you running a loyalty program within your app? Don’t forget to check if the rewards offered in the programme are exciting for your target market. Whether you use your business app as an extension of website or provide unique tools and features – make sure your content is relevant to your users abroad and fosters loyalty of your international customers.

 

 If you’re striving for an international presence, a localised mobile app is the best way to secure a stronger presence in the industry and better connect with your customers. To make the localisation process successful focus on the points above that will help you encourage your customers to interact with you brand.

 

Is your business mobile already? Are you planning to attract more mobile users? Share your comments below!

 

Photo by D. Pawlak

 

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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