If you develop an app with global aspirations, you will undoubtedly need localization. You need a sound strategy and the right localization management platform in place to do so effectively. While apps will contain less content to be translated, the content will need to be high quality and simple to keep users engaged.
When users download an app, they will ideally find it easy and intuitive to use. With 230 billion apps downloaded in the last year alone, the window of opportunity to make a lasting impression is small. To localize your app with an iterative process, nailing down the planning and expert setup of a strong localization engine is crucial before diving deep into the actual translation work.
What is App Localization?
App localization refers to the process of adapting and refining the details of an app to appeal to a geographically specific target market. Before you begin localizing your app, it’s essential to consider every element of the process. Translating content from one language to another is critical; however, localization ensures that every element of the app is precise to a specific market.
The cultural preferences, nuances, and tone will all play a role in how an app is perceived. With the right strategy, app localization gives your company maximum exposure in multiple global markets resulting in an expanded reach and more downloads.
How to Localize Your App with an Iterative Process
To conduct your app localization with an iterative process, you need to examine the skeleton of your project. App localization requires a measured, strategic approach to deliver the intended UX, regardless of the language. Many of the critical steps in localization come before an app is even launched.
Here are some key considerations before you get started:
Before beginning the translation process, it is critical that translators immerse themselves in the app to understand the goals and experiences. You wouldn’t serve a meal without first tasting it, and a translator should understand the intent before conducting the translation process. Thorough app knowledge will result in meaningful translations.
App Store Verification
- Android: Android apps will feed into the Google Play store. Google Play supports 51 different languages. Apps must be optimized for Android Oreo for the best results.
- iOS: iOS apps feed into the App Store, are accessible in 175 countries, and support 40 languages.
Understanding the supporting languages offered by both platforms can mean the difference between success and your app being unattainable.
What is your app localization budget? This question is the perfect place to start before beginning the localization process. Hidden costs can cause roadblocks that prolong your launch date. Start small with the languages you wish to target. Try, test, and then scale the app from there. You will also want to build your app to support multiple languages from the start. This prep work will ultimately save on your app localization efforts and costs when you are ready to expand.
Get a String File to Analyze
The development process is half the battle in localization. A necessary first step is to create a resource file and populate it with all content strings. Ensuring file types are parsed properly can prevent receiving corrupt files upon return. At Bureau Works, we use the necessary software to prevent pitfalls in the app development process. We have a process for protecting the integrity of the file to transform it into a friendly format that preserves the integrity of the code.
Before launch, consider how the app will receive continuous localization. Language is subjective and can always change. Partnering with a localization management service can ensure continuous updates are completed so your app can stay relevant to its target market.
The last step and arguably the most important is a thorough QA process. Testing helps engineers discover issues that could filter through the app and ripple into significant problems. Bureau Works can ensure that every component of your app goes through a detailed quality check so you can feel confident in launching your app to a global audience.
It can be challenging to manage all the moving parts of app localization. With a robust platform and following the above considerations, you can ensure your app is ready for launch with an iterative process that runs itself.
April 5, 2022