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  • Writer's pictureUndertow Team

Building a Scalable UX Localization Process: Enhancing Efficiency and User Experience in Multilingual Content

Key Strategies for Collaboration and Success

UX Localization Process

In today's globalized world, businesses need to consider language nuances and cultural practices to ensure a seamless user experience for their international audience. To achieve this, collaboration between designers, developers, localization specialists, and product managers becomes crucial.

In this article, we will explore various strategies and best practices for creating a scalable localization process for UX localization. We will provide insights, tips, and real-world examples to help you navigate the complexities of UX localization and create a truly global user experience.

Whether you are new to localization or looking to enhance your existing processes, this article will equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to establish a scalable and efficient localization workflow. 

So, let's dive in and discover how to build a localization process that not only meets the demands of multiple markets but also delights users across the globe.


What is UX? 

Before we delve into UX localization, let's first define what UX means. 

User experience (UX) refers to the quality of interactions a user has with a product or service. It encompasses all aspects of the user's interaction with a company, its services, and its products.

In today's digital age, users are more demanding than ever before. They expect seamless and intuitive experiences, regardless of the language they speak. As a result, UX has become an essential factor in building successful products and services that cater to diverse audiences.


Why is UX Important?  

A positive user experience leads to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty, ultimately driving business growth. On the other hand, a poor UX can lead to negative reviews, loss of customers, and damage to brand reputation.

When it comes to localization, providing a stellar user experience becomes even more critical. It's not just about translating words into different languages; it's about adapting the entire product to match the cultural and linguistic expectations of the target market.

What is UX Localization? 

UX localization is the process of adapting a product or service to meet the cultural, linguistic, and functional requirements of a specific target market. It involves translating content into the language(s) spoken by the target audience, as well as making necessary changes to design, layout, and functionality to ensure that it is culturally relevant and user-friendly.

"Localization goes beyond translation; it involves adapting the entire product to meet the cultural and linguistic expectations of the target market. By prioritizing user experience in localization efforts, businesses can foster customer satisfaction and loyalty, and ultimately drive business growth." - Stefania Russo, Head of UX Content at Glovo.

Multilingual Content Podcast

Without proper localization, products may fail to resonate with their intended audience, leading to poor user experience and ultimately hindering business growth. On the other hand, investing in UX localization can result in increased customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and revenue.

Challenges in UX Localization

While localization may seem like a straightforward process, there are several challenges that businesses need to overcome to create a successful and efficient workflow. These challenges include:

  • Linguistic Complexity: The need to translate content into multiple languages adds complexity and costs to the localization process.

  • Cultural Adaptation: Adapting design, layout, and functionality to match the cultural expectations of a target market requires specialized knowledge and expertise.

  • Collaboration between Teams: Collaboration between designers, developers, localization specialists, and product managers is crucial for successful UX localization but can be challenging to achieve.

  • Time Constraints: Localization needs to keep up with constantly changing content updates, which can lead to tight deadlines and increased pressure on teams.

The Importance of UX Localization and Collaboration for Scalable Processes

Creating a scalable localization process that encompasses UX localization requires collaboration and cooperation between various teams. It's not just the responsibility of one team to ensure a successful localized product; it takes a joint effort from designers, developers, localization specialists, and product managers.

Collaboration Between Designers and Localization Specialists

Designers play a crucial role in UX localization as they are responsible for creating a visually appealing and user-friendly interface. Collaboration with localization specialists is essential as they can provide valuable insights on cultural preferences, language nuances, and visual design elements that may need to be adapted for the target market.

UX Localization

Collaboration Between Developers and Localization Specialists

Developers are responsible for implementing any necessary changes to the product's functionality during localization. They must work closely with localization specialists to ensure that the product functions seamlessly in different languages, does not have any text or layout issues, and adheres to cultural norms.

"You need to understand how the development team works because if they are following Scrum, maybe they are delivering every two weeks, or if they're following Kanban, every day there is a key release, and together you need to establish a process that works for both parties." - Stefania Russo, Head of UX Content at Glovo.

Multilingual Content Podcast

Collaboration Between Product Managers and Localization Specialists

Product managers are responsible for overseeing the entire localization process. This includes coordinating with all teams involved, ensuring timely delivery of localized versions, and monitoring user feedback. Collaborating with localization specialists can provide valuable insights into cultural expectations and preferences that can help refine the product for specific markets.

The Role of (Human) Translators and Machine Translation in UX Localization

(Human) translators play a crucial role in ensuring the quality and accuracy of localized content. They possess the expertise and cultural understanding necessary to adapt product language to specific markets.

On the other hand, machine translation can help speed up the localization process by providing a first draft that can be edited and refined by human translators. However, it is not reliable enough for accurate translations and lacks the cultural sensitivity required for a successful UX localization process.

Understand the pros and cons of hiring in-house vs outsourcing before deciding which hiring model is right for you.

Establishing Scalable Processes For Efficient Localization

Establishing scalable localization processes brings a plethora of benefits that boost efficiency and streamline workflows. 

Firstly, it enhances consistency across all localized content, providing a unified brand experience for global audiences. Secondly, it saves time and resources by eliminating redundant tasks and fostering a collaborative environment where design, development, and localization efforts are integrated. Thirdly, scalability ensures your localization process is flexible and adaptable, ready to accommodate future expansions into new markets. 

Finally, a well-structured, scalable process enables faster turnaround times, facilitating quicker product launches in multiple regions. In essence, investing in scalable localization processes is a strategic move that can significantly enhance your operational efficiency and global reach.

Efficient Localization

"Localization must follow the software development ensure a continuous and timely release of translated content." - Stefania Russo, Head of UX Content at Glovo.

How Undertow Creates Scalable Processes For Efficient Localization 

At Undertow, we prioritize scalability in our localization processes to ensure efficient delivery of high-quality multilingual content. We create bespoke teams tailored to your needs, who work closely with all departments involved in the product development cycle to create a seamless process that integrates UX localization from the early stages. 

We utilize translation software and tools to streamline the process and continuously gather feedback to improve your localized versions. Through collaboration, standardization, and continuous improvement, we have established efficient and scalable processes that enable us to meet the cultural and linguistic expectations of your global users. 

UX Localization

Strategies for Testing Localized Products: Techniques, Machine Translation, and UI String Management

In the world of localization, testing plays a crucial role in ensuring the quality and accuracy of localized products. There are several strategies and techniques that can be employed to achieve this goal. 

One such strategy is the use of translation management systems (TMS) which help manage and streamline the translation process. TMS allows for efficient collaboration between translators, localization specialists, and other stakeholders, ensuring smooth and accurate translations.

Another important technique in testing localized products is the use of in-context translation. This involves providing translators with full context of where the translated content will appear, enabling them to produce more accurate and contextually appropriate translations. In-context translation helps maintain the integrity of the user interface and enhances the overall user experience.

When it comes to machine translation, caution is advised, especially for user interfaces. User interfaces require careful attention to detail and cultural nuances which are best handled by human translators with expertise in localization.

Proper management of UI strings is also essential in the localization workflow. This includes organizing and categorizing UI strings, setting character limitations, and providing clear instructions for translators. Effective management of UI strings ensures consistency, accuracy, and efficiency in the localization process.

"If you are in 20 or 40 markets, tools play an important role here. You cannot think of managing tons of UI strings without any string management tool or TMS translation management system. Otherwise it's too much manual action."  - Stefania Russo, Head of UX Content at Glovo.

The Multilingual Content Podcast

By implementing these strategies and techniques, companies can ensure that their localized products are of high-quality and culturally appropriate for their target markets. The use of TMS, in-context translation, and proper UI string management enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of the localization workflow, leading to successful localized products that resonate with international audiences.

Enhancing User Experience through Pseudolocalization and User Research

Pseudolocalization is a technique used to test localized versions of a product by simulating languages with different characters and accents, creating a realistic representation of local content. This process helps identify any issues or bugs that may arise due to language-specific characters, ensuring that the final localized version is free from errors and provides an optimal user experience.

To further enhance user experience, it is essential to conduct user research in the target market. This can help businesses understand the cultural norms, preferences, and pain points of their international users, allowing them to tailor their products accordingly.

"Pseudolocalization means that you connect the design tool with the translation management system (TMS) and when you add the pseudotranslation in the design, you may not have the English, but you have a mix of special characters so you can test longer text." - Stefania Russo, Head of UX Content at Glovo.

Enhancing User Experience

Maximizing Localization Efficiency with Visual Aids and Expertise 

Visual aids, such as screenshots of the user interface, can greatly enhance the efficiency of localization processes. They provide a clear visual representation of where each UI element will appear. This will help the localization specialists identify the best way to adapt every piece of microcopy. 

Collaborating with expert linguists, UX writers, and cultural consultants can enhance the effectiveness of visual aids by providing valuable insights into local preferences and ensuring that the product resonates with the target audience. 

Investing in the expertise of language specialists improves the quality and accuracy of localized content, while UX writers and content designers shape the user experience by establishing a tone, voice, and style that resonates with the target audience. Linguists play a crucial role in championing the nuances of the local language, ensuring cultural sensitivity and contextual aptness.

"It's always good to have a language expert that you can localize with because eventually there are some things that will not translate." - Valeria Nanni, Head of Localization at Skyscanner.

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A harmonious collaboration between these roles can significantly enhance a product's acceptability in a new market, making it feel familiar and intuitive to local users. Ultimately, this can foster a sense of connection and trust with the product, a crucial factor in its global success.

Best Practices for Effective Collaboration:

  • Foster open communication between all teams involved in localization.

  • Provide proper training and resources to support collaboration.

  • Encourage cultural sensitivity and awareness during the localization process.

  • Utilize technology and tools for seamless collaboration, such as project management software and translation memory systems.

  • Continuously gather feedback from all parties involved to improve collaboration processes. 

These best practices can help businesses establish efficient and effective collaboration between teams, ultimately leading to successful localization efforts and a better product experience for international users. By following these guidelines, companies can streamline their localization process, save time and resources, and ensure a consistent and high-quality product for all global audiences.  

UX Localization Strategies

Driving Success Through Effective UX Localization Strategies

UX localization is becoming increasingly crucial for businesses to succeed and reach a diverse audience. By implementing best practices such as involving all teams from the beginning, utilizing technology and tools, conducting user research, and fostering effective collaboration, companies can establish scalable processes for efficient UX localization. 

This not only ensures a high-quality product for international users but also sets the groundwork for continuous improvement and success in the global market. 

At Undertow, we understand the importance of efficient and effective UX localization in today's global market. Our team of experts is dedicated to providing tailored solutions that prioritize scalability, cultural sensitivity, and user experience to ensure the success of your product in international markets. From initial planning to continuous improvement, we are committed to helping you achieve your localization goals. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business succeed in the global market.  

UX Localization


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