Mobile app localization testing is arguably the most critical component of your project as it defines your user experience. Unfortunately, many companies get it wrong–they either take a tech-focused approach or look entirely at content without understanding the end-user impact.
A good strategy combines both and depends entirely on your testers. Deciding who is best suited to manage this critical component of your process will ensure a successful transition to a new market. It will preserve your user’s experience and make it easier to access your app’s features.
Mobile App Localization Testing By Platform
It’s not possible to compare localizing processes for Android and iOS because these two platforms are entirely different and require entirely different approaches.
When it comes to audience targeting, you need to know that iOS does not offer as many language variations as Android. Their platform allows localization into about 100 different regions and languages. However, you also need to consider the limitations of the App Store–the typical platform where your program will be delivered to users. While the program may be configurable for many variations, the App Store only supports 40 languages.
iOS does not allow emulators for testing apps so it’ll have to be published as a beta program for user testing or create some other workaround. You’ll need an extensive list of iOS localization best practices to get it right.
Overall, the iOS platform is far more challenging for localization as you are limited in both markets and testing capabilities.
Android is a far more flexible platform when it comes to multilingual mobile app development. The Google Play Store, where most Android apps are downloaded, supports 51 different languages. The platform itself is very flexible when it comes to support, though it is recommended that app sizes be between 40 and 60MB, depending on the type.
Android offers a much simpler testing process and a ton of developer support to include the use of emulators. It even allows developers to run custom locale app tests for a specific region not explicitly supported by Android.
Android localization is a far smoother process for companies. It’s wise to start here to establish the basic framework of the strategy.
We’ve seen many clients make the mistake of overlooking platform selection before they started their localization projects. This needs to be considered during the earliest phases of your project, as the platform will play a significant role in your testing process.
Focusing On Immersion in Testing Mobile App Localization
Purpose is what fuels the use of language–this statement is true of all content, but it is especially valid for mobile apps. The content is what will drive its use, but most companies invest very little in ensuring their testers understand the purpose of their app. Testers will take a strictly technical approach, ensuring that the language changes don’t break the app or create errors. They won’t review it to ensure the content helps the average user operate the app and use it to its fullest capabilities.
The key to good testing in mobile app localization is full immersion. The tester must operate it in the same way as a layman, using the content to guide them as they explore its various features and understand its overall purpose for the user. This process goes a lot deeper than the simple basics of what it does; it centers on how it solves a problem for the user.
Consider if someone was testing a mobile version of Linkedin. The obvious goal would be to access and control their profile on the site, but there’s more to it than that. Can the user access the various parts of Linkedin that only someone experienced would know about, like job boards, messaging, network connections, updates, and more? Can they use the app to resolve an issue, whether it’s looking for a job or staying up to date on industry knowledge? The tester would need to know that all of these areas exist and their overall purpose to ensure that the web app translation services were effective.
The goal in mobile app localization testing is to establish the end-user experience. That means leveraging a pool of testers who are familiar with your offering and getting them to focus on how language drives its purpose. Cultivating this testing pool is the single smartest thing you can do when completing a mobile app localization project.
Bureau Works supports mobile app localization testing by helping you cultivate a pool of brand enthusiasts who will understand the purpose of your app. To discuss our solutions, contact our team or request a demo.