High-quality app localization can make the difference between your app achieving a small local following and becoming a global success. A key part of the process is beta testing, but how do you undertake it when you don’t speak the languages that you’re providing in your app? Read on to find out!
What is mobile app localization?
It’s a key part of any app developer’s localization, internationalization, and globalization strategy. Localization means adapting an app to suit a specific audience, such as those in a particular country or region. The definition of localization encompasses apps, written documents, and other materials. The core point is that they are not just being translated but changed in subtle and sometimes overt ways to ensure that the new audience feels as though the item in question was created just for them.
If you’re serious about successful app localization, you need to review localization services and appoint a company with experience in your particular genre of app. Take your time with this process! App localization is complex and needs to be undertaken using appropriate localization software and talented linguists. Finding a company that can undertake website localization, with a range of translators across language pairs, is well worth the investment in preparation for your future localization needs.
What is the difference between translation and localization?
Really quickly, translation services and localization services are not the same thing. Translation is about converting one language to another. It doesn’t shape the app or document to suit the target audience in the same way that localization does. As such, translation alone won’t maximize your app’s chances of succeeding overseas. Instead, you need to implement a clear localization strategy that incorporates native beta testers as part of a customer-centric culture.
Why is localization important?
In simple terms, it can mean greater user satisfaction, higher engagement levels, and more income for your business.
How do you do localization? When you’re developing an app for a market with users who prefer content in their native language, you need to consider a whole range of variables. This is why using a localization service provider with relevant experience and native beta testers is so crucial. The localization process needs to account for everything from high-level factors (social and cultural norms) to precise details (currencies, time zones, measurement systems, colour schemes and so on).
For example, if you want to convert your app from Korean to English, your localization agency will need Korean to English translation services to be the cornerstone of their work. The Korean translator will have to adapt the results to suit an English audience, with a focus on where each English audience is located. This is because the localization results will differ depending on whether the target audience is in the UK, US, Australia or elsewhere.
What is the localization strategy for beta testing?
You’ll need native users in order to beta-test your app. Your translation and localization experts will provide an initial test. But once they have delivered your localized app, you’ll need some native testers who can provide you with detailed, honest, and constructive feedback. Asking the right user feedback questions is key.
Sticking to your original language testing groups won’t work here. You’ve engaged localization experts and localization tools for a specific purpose. Using native beta testers is the final stage and cannot be skipped if you want to ensure that your app will appeal to its new target market.
Native beta testers can serve a range of purposes. They can spot critical bugs. They can highlight any problems with in-app functionality and design. Native users can also provide nuanced feedback on how well your localization strategy has worked, thus allowing you to update and enhance that strategy for future versions of your app.
What is localization going to do for your app?
If done right from start to finish, localization can mean that app developers encounter few to no issues when deploying their app to their intended audience. It maximizes their chances of success and in the current market, that boils down to big money in virtually every app market. According to a July 2019 report by TechCrunch, they noted that, “the iOS App Store and Google Play combined brought in $39.7 billion in worldwide app revenue in the first half of 2019” and those numbers have increased even faster since the recent global pandemic.
For those who get their app localization right, there’s serious money to be made. Those who get it wrong, meanwhile, risk losing a significant number of customers and as a result significant capital growth. Loyalitics reports that 25% of users abandon an app after only launching it once. That’s a huge volume of business to risk losing as a result of not taking the localization process seriously!
Presumably, after pouring your time and expertise into designing and building your app, you want people to use it. Getting true value from your work means ensuring your app appeals to as many users as possible. After all, the more people who use it, the more reward you will receive for the investment of your time and effort.
Localization is an extension of the work you put into the usability of your app when originally creating it. A slick and enjoyable user experience is all-important when it comes to how quickly an app can take off around the globe – or even in a single country. By localizing your app, you are enhancing the way that using it feels. This smooth user experience can maximize your chances for international success – and possibly turn a hobby app into a profitable venture.