If you have recently launched an app, chances are you are biting your nails at the outcome. You have great reason to be. In 2017 alone, the total number of mobile app downloads according to Statista was approximately 178 billion. The popularity of apps is speeding past predictions; Statista projects that the number will reach 258 billion by 2022. The deepening of the app pool is great for consumer accessibility, but also raises the competition. Want your app to stand out? Using developers to localise your mobile app is the way forward.
What is Localisation?
Localisation is the process of adapting your service to appeal to the new customer base you are attempting to entice. Perhaps you are a European-based business looking to expand to the South American continent. Even if you were based in Spain, for example, you would need to localise your service to suit South American culture. It goes without saying that no culture is the same. Nor can we expect the world population to be fluent in the lingua franca. Making your mobile app accessible to many rather than a few conveys the message that you are inclusive. It also makes sound business sense – why limit yourself? If you believe your service will benefit others then go for it!
Why Should You Use Developers to Localise Your Mobile App?
The thought of using developers to localise your mobile app may feel like the last thing you need. Don’t put it off. It will transform your app for the better. Let us take Pokémon Go as an example. The fact that the app is part of a franchise has certainly propelled its popularity. Imagine, though, that developers had not localised the mobile app. Would it have made a difference to its reception? In the case of Pokémon Go, the situation is slightly more complex to answer the question. Pokémon is inherently Japanese, which forms the majority of its identity. Simply put: its cultural identity appeals to consumers worldwide.
However, the use of developers to localise the Pokémon Go app would still be a requirement. Why? Despite the attraction to its Japanese identity, the brand would still need to demonstrate awareness of the cultural differences of their customer base. However aware the consumer is of Pokémon, there will be phrases, behaviours and language that they will fail to understand. This will leave a rather perplexed customer. A loose example connected to this is the censorship of Pokémon episodes for North American audiences who would not understand cultural Japanese nuances. In a way, distributors practised their own form of localisation for TV. If you want to avoid cultural mishaps, enlist developers to localise your mobile app.
Using developers to localise your mobile app would also be prudent if you are a travel app. In fact, you would need to use developers to localise your mobile app for the following reason. The world is globalised. People are travelling more. If you can’t connect to the vast majority of holidaymakers then your app will fail to make an impact. Hiring a developer to localise your web app is non-negotiable in this instance. Your customer demographics demand it. Companies that have excluded regions during the rolling out of their app have incurred the wrath of the former. If you know there is a demand: supply it.
Elements to Think About When Localising Your Mobile App
Cultural nuance is one of the main factors why getting a developer to localise your app is imperative. If none of your content appeals to the consumer, you are costing precious impressions of your brand.
Simple translation may not be enough. There will be idioms and colloquialisms that just don’t translate well. In addition, the wording of certain sentences will not make sense in another language. Language changes. Some verbs or vocabulary transform their meaning over time; something with a straightforward meaning in the past may have become rude. Only a developer with knowledge of localisation will know how to fix this.
Consider mobile optimisation. If using developers to localise your mobile app, remember the definition of ‘mobile’ is not merely a mobile phone. ‘Mobile device’ also covers tablets, which certainly do not have the same size screens. If an app appears a tiny box on a wide tablet screen, prepare for some fiery reviews. This is the same case for font and image sizing. All should be considerations when choosing developers to localise your mobile app.
Layout is a vital part of the localisation process. On the surface, it would seem that layout is not a problem, or that it will sort itself out. This is where you definitely need developers to localise your mobile app. Cyrillic, the Japanese and Chinese scripts, and Indic scripts, all take up different amounts of space to the Latin script. To zoom in on one continent: the lexical makeup of each European language complicates the matter further. German is notorious for its selection of sprawling words such as ‘Backpfeifengesicht’ (a slappable face). Although other European languages have their fair share of long words, developers would need to rectify the contrast.
Still not convinced? No matter how knowledgeable we are, there are always gaps. You may feel you know your target audience, but there might be someone who knows them better. Don’t make assumptions in your growth process because it could cost you a good impression of your brand. Taking a developer on board seems like extra baggage (extra cost); however, it pays off when your app takes flight. Take the cases of other mobile apps into account when you plan your app’s launch. Excluding an expectant audience from your service will encourage them to look elsewhere. Before you know it, there will be copy-cat versions of your hard work, because you ignored a demographic. You will appreciate the positive reception of your accessible and customer attuned mobile app. Unlock your app’s potential. Approach developers to localise your mobile app. You will not regret it.
[Gif provided by Giphy.]
Linguist Point has expert developers in localisation at its fingertips to help you launch your start-up or expand your business. We can provide you with fresh insight into your intended consumers. We know how to connect with people.
One world. One voice.