Designing for mobile is an essential part of today’s most successful business strategies. And the more people around the world who can access your mobile content, the bigger your potential market. According to Business Insider, one in five people in the world own a smartphone, and that number is rising exponentially. Whether you’re looking to translate website content for mobile users or localizing in-app content for a global user base, it is important to keep the consumer experience in mind. The following are four areas to consider when you are getting started:
Take Inventory of Your Content Assets
Managing the translation and deployment of mobile content across languages and platforms requires a systematic approach. The right translation management system makes it easy to inventory your content assets, or strings. In Smartling, it’s easy to see the list of all strings for your website or sort them depending on which are awaiting authorization, which are in process (of being translated), which have been completed (translated), and which you’ve decided to exclude from a particular translation project. Building on this knowledge, managers are able to identify translation priorities, provide project oversight, and develop a plan for future content creation needs with each specific language or market in mind.
Determine Functional Translation Requirements
Although translating core content may be first priority, it’s important to make a plan for localizing your supportive or functional content as well. Don’t forget to include buttons, navigational and menu items, help menus, and labels. It’s also important to evaluate standards used for things such as dates, times, and measurements to ensure they are consistent across your content base and localized for each market.
Create a Policy for User-Generated Content
Does your mobile application, software, or website include any user-generated content (UGC)? Some common examples include comments on blog posts or submissions to in-app discussion boards. UGC becomes particularly concerning if your mobile products have a community element. If you currently display UGC or anticipate doing so in the future, it’s important to establish policies on how that will be handled across languages. Will content be separated by language, professionally translated, or displayed categorically regardless of language? When making your decision, consider the goals and needs of your audience and how they are likely to interact with UGC.
Code wth Platform Best Practices in Mind
Optimizing mobile content also requires thinking about how content will appear visually to users. Mobile content may be displayed on smartphones or tablets, in browsers or customized apps, and on Apple or Android platforms. If you are a developer, it goes without saying that you should choose coding methodologies based on responsive design—and thus are flexible to a variety of mobile devices.
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