The best software localization examples bridge the gap between code and content–these vital components will determine the success of your program. Code ensures the translation doesn’t break the program, and to deliver the right content, you need a deep understanding of your target market. We’ve seen a lot of cases where our clients focus solely on one side of the equation at the detriment of the other. However, we’ve also had the pleasure of working with a couple of companies who set the standard for software localization examples.
A good localization project is a collaborative effort where you have expert project managers and technically proficient people to understand the code that makes your product work. By bringing the two together, you establish a program that will carry you into many new markets.
Bridging the Gap Between Code and Content
One of the first mistakes we see clients make when bridging the code gap in localization is having their developers handle it. Developers write code and shouldn’t manage the localization process. Software localization is a business practice that needs a marketing team and project managers to handle it.
Coders are most interested in continuous localization because they want a process that allows both the transfer and uploading of content to be primarily automatic. That way, all the developer is responsible for is testing the new code and resolving any errors that occur in it.
Meanwhile, your project manager and marketing team should review the content since all the information may not translate well in new markets. Sometimes, your content and even the design of the website itself will require some changes. As a result, it’s vital that your translators understand the purpose of your project.
Software is about purpose. You can’t code without knowing what you are coding for, and you can’t translate unless you understand the purpose. Experienced staff and a collaborative process will help you understand your project’s goal, allowing you to create a strategy that carries you in every market.
Key Software Localization Examples for Reference
As code and content are the primary focuses of any project, our best software localization examples come from companies on each side. With Bird, we were able to deliver continuous service to support their app, while Harley Davidson required flexibility to follow how their content needed to change for each market.
#1: How Bird Integrated Their Service
Bird is an electronic scooter rental service driven by an app, so their code is essential to their project. It operates in 35 different locales, so translation is a central component of its offerings. We worked with them to translate their help center for 27 of these markets.
A key component of this project was integration with Zendesk, their chosen customer service platform. Bird’s localization strategy centered on ensuring automatic updates–sometimes as many as 50 a day–to continuously aid their clients seeking customer service. One major part of their strategy was a collaboration through the real-time messaging platform Slack. With it, we were able to continuously communicate with developers, operations teams, and other stakeholders. On top of that, our command-line interface allowed developers to customize their tasks with the flexibility they needed to ensure optimized code throughout the entire project.
#2: How Harley Davidson Adapted for Multiple Markets
Harley Davidson is a brand steeped in Americana with a company logo that features a US flag. its domestic content is all about the freedom of the open road prevalent in US culture. This is an excellent campaign strategy for the company’s US presence, but it won’t translate to foreign markets.
Updating the content to speak to new markets is a massive challenge, especially when you consider all the content the brand covers. While Harley Davidson’s primary offering is motorcycles, they have extensive software localization needs for their customers.
Websites, mobile apps, user manuals, and other educational material all required translation for users in the 64 locales they manage. One major contributing factor to its success is its extensive translation memory program that feeds into machine translation. With the translation memory, we teach the program how to update certain content and change the tone for different markets. Our linguists were assisted by automatic machine translation-generated suggestions that helped them understand the brand’s presence for that specific market.
The best software localization examples show how a company can adapt both its code and content for a given market. Both require equally granular level focus, especially when dealing with a multilingual localization strategy. By taking a technology-forward approach with a heavy emphasis on collaboration, our clients have been able to enter new markets seamlessly.