Mastering Localization Testing: Ensure Your Product Speaks to a Global Audience
The Role of Localization Testing in Product Development
Localization testing enables companies to make their products and services matter to their ideal target audience. It’s a critical step in the expansion process which should be revisited regularly, keeping user experience and expectations at the forefront of every effort.
Keeping this type of functional testing as a top priority facilitates scalability and growth for your business—especially when the process is backed by sound internationalization and globalization concepts for a specific region.
Below, we discuss the different types of testing strategy options brands can employ, ensuring product or service impact on new markets. We’ll be diving into possible challenges, best practices, and types of localization testing, helping businesses to effectively gauge cultural appropriateness in different regions.
Types of Localization Testing
There are many types of localization that brands can use to determine product-fit validation and the overall potential impact of a good or service on the global market.
- Linguistic Testing: This type of test may have several test cases, expanding to both software testing of a given site or asset and to the compatibility of a dialect in certain regions. After linguistic testing, the localized version of a product or service should be a seamless fit for the given local or global audience.
- Cultural Testing: Cultural testing is best done by testers in both the native area and the possible launch area, adding another layer of authenticity to the testing process. This step evaluates the cultural compatibility of a given product or service.
- Functional Testing: This type of testing evaluates the user experience of the product or service, determining if it will meet the needs and expectations of a target market. Prior research and in-depth cultural testing usually inform this step.
- UI/UX Testing: User experience testing can have many different test cases, and is generally used to assess the quality of automation or operating systems against what a target market expects. It covers everything—from ease of navigation to correct translation across different languages and dialects in a target market. This step alone improves the chance of higher quality assurance scores and product or service adaptation.
Challenges in Localization Testing
Challenges can be a normal part of localization testing, especially if frameworks and client-facing user interface elements are still being workshopped. Knowing what these possible slowdowns are ahead of time can be helpful to your team, and can lead to a more robust test plan (which translates to an efficient localization testing strategy that covers everything you need to know about the preferences of a target region).
Here are a few challenges to proactively address in your workflow:
- Language nuances and cultural differences: Coming prepared with a skilled human translator to address this possible challenge is key to preserving an effective test environment. This concern should also be considered in the software engineering steps as well, ensuring that the brand communicates clear messaging at all times.
- Technical challenges: Creating a software application that can impact people on a global scale is no easy task. Localization testing strategies must be broad enough to cover all elements of the development and optimization process, leaving room for character encoding, date and time formats, and a UX that will be relevant to native speakers of the target area.
- Number formats, high-quality hyperlinks and presentation of content are all elemental pieces that should be considered in this step.
- Ongoing maintenance: The localization process isn’t over once the product has been approved for expansion. Continuous maintenance of localized products should be done with iterative development tasks, keeping your products, services, and pricing as aligned with cultural norms as possible.
Best Practices for Effective Localization Testing
There are several best practices to consider in your localization testing processes. We’ve listed a few of the most impactful benefits of localization testing below:
Involving Localization Teams Early in the Development Process
Localization teams should be involved from the conceptualization stage of your product or service. Building your content with intuitive pricing, understandable fonts and elements of localized useability (i.e., correct character formatting) can save you significant time later on, allowing for faster rollout and adaptation around the world.
Using a Localization Testing Checklist
A localization checklist can be a handy tool to align all efforts of your localization, planning, operations and development teams. It can feel (and be) nearly impossible to hit all of the marks necessary in an efficient way during the draft and preparation stage. Keeping a centralized source of truth for your team to reference later can be helpful as you move the needle toward your deployment date—keeping everyone on task at all times.
Ensuring Complete and Clear Communication Among Teams
We know that communication can seem like a given as you go through the product creation and development process. However, it’s something that shouldn’t be so quickly overlooked! Miscommunications can happen in a heartbeat—possibly compromising your product or service deployment and development. Keeping channels open as you go through each stage is critical to ensure that nothing is missed.
Some suggestions and best practices in this area include:
- Having dedicated communication hours: Having clear boundaries when it comes to work and “off” time can be incredibly helpful in securing balance and efficiency with your team. It can prevent burnout and support a deeper, more authentic culture of teamwork—and it’s a task that can be done with little to no effort.
- Being segmented in your approach: Keeping modular, separate channels can help team members to avoid inefficiency and confusion.
- Staying consistent with check-ins and encouragement: Project management is both an art and a science. Keeping on track with consistent, creative and impactful check-in can make a world of difference in the efficiency and quality of your end result.
Streamline Localization Testing with OneSky
Localization testing is an essential part in a well-rounded, impactful and localized product or service. Having a process that evaluates the product in a comprehensive way (including from a UX, linguistic, and functional standpoint) promotes a culture that supports sustainable business expansion and growth.
Ready to get started? OneSky’s inclusive translation management platform is equipped with the tools you need to walk away with a localized and optimized end product—translated by our prestigious human translators into 50+ languages and dialects. We also offer convenient on-device testing to help you complete your rollout in confidence!
For more information and to get started for free, please connect with us today. We look forward to serving you!