Are you building a custom mobile app or web app with a localization feature? It’s important to ensure that what you’re developing can be localized accurately, efficiently, easily and quickly.
The superpower of localization lies in its technique and capability to reach millions of new and potential users all around the world.
The localization best practices and guidelines will make your initiatives easier, allowing you to give a worldwide experience to customers regardless of nation, region or language. We have enlisted the best items that are the most important for those who are just getting started with localization and those who are more experienced.
Here’s the list of 28 mobile app localization best practices to help your app rule the world.
Mobile App Localization
Before learning the points for app localization, you need to know what App Localization is. TechRev brings you the concept of mobile app localization and everything you need to know about it more simply.
It refers to the practice of optimizing a mobile application or “App” functionality and its content as per the user’s location. This is a popular tactic that’s used to make sure an app is adapted by the demographics of a specific locale or market.
Localization involves adding special functions to increase usage in a specific market or region. For an app, localization is carried out specifically for every language. App internationalization on the other hand is when an app is successfully adapted for use everywhere in the world. This is different from App localization. Localizing is what increases in-app conversions or purchases.
28 Important Points To Remember For Mobile App Localization
App internationalization is the global use of possible code. Mobile app localization is to customize it locally for each area as per the local taste and use case. Hybrid mobile app development involves both App internationalization and mobile app localization. TechRev brings your app localization best practices and helps you in hybrid mobile app development endeavours.
TechRev is indirectly helping you plan for better localization tools. So dive further to know the best strategies for localizing mobile apps and web applications! Better mobile app development happens if you follow these important points.
- Text Shall Grow/Shrink – A Language and its letters are different from other languages. The space occupied by letters of a language is different from others and the growing or shrinkable flexibility makes mobile app localization easier.
2. Font Sizes – Some languages may have few characters and some might have many. While typing this creates a different experience. Such a distinction should be addressed with ease by allowing the user’s discretion to increase the font size as per their whims.
3. Image and Text Separation – It is auxiliary and very important! If every image cannot be separated from its text, then users of other languages will struggle to own that app. Language shouldn’t stop a person from enjoying an image.
4. Hiding or Moving of Images – While it is good to separate images from texts, sometimes the user may need to move or hide the image. This brings in a better use case as the openness of image handling increases the experience of an app.
5. Zoom in & Zoom Out of Images – Like how font size is important for texts, zoom in and out is important for images. Zooming in and out can facilitate users to have a detailed and elaborate view of images. Custom Software development started to have flexibility, so image flexibility is necessary as well.
6. Accessibility of Image Source Files – During your custom software development or app development, are you creating images separately? Then try to allow the users access to not just “final files” but the “Source Files” as well. This creates a different level of flexibility for images and their customized usage.
7. Resource The Strings – String externalisation is the method of shifting strings from code to resource files. This eases the development process which is always “Ongoing”. To avoid tough re-work or stringent development issues, keep resource formats with strings.
8. Implement A Pseudo-Localization Step – This is to make sure that string externalization has happened, as this ensures that app localization can happen. For once try to convert a language character set into another language. This will help you to understand the effective localization of the app and the necessary steps to take if not. For a proper Hybrid mobile app development, this is important.
9. Checking For Garbled Characters – In simple words, it is a pseudo localization step that most professionals do. Garbled Characters or Mojibake are witnessed by Japanese users in general. In their local language, they come across garbled characters joined together and used as a word. Like this 文字化け [meaning Mojibake]. This is a test to check for app localization in Japan.
- Train Your Developers To Consider Various Locales – Every programmer or developer you have should possess an open and flexible mind. They should be aware to make apps based on multiple locales in general. The more multiple locales localizing they have the better wholesome app localization happens. TechRev considers this to be the key to its success in being the best custom software development organization.
- Database Schema Should Support Global Variants – What app localization can you perform when your database schema doesn’t allow international variants? Remember, flexibility is the key. A global variant support database schema is essential for Custom Software development or Hybrid mobile app development.
- File Structures Should Be Standard & Consistent – Use file structures that are standard and consistent like Java properties, .NET, resx etc… Your consistency in usage will leverage your development process and aid in quality app localization. This is considered to be one of the app localization best practices.
- Avoiding Third-Party Dependency Constraints – Using a third party’s data or functionality is common, but that dependency shouldn’t hamper your app localization possibility. Know the locales or regions the third party can support. Accordingly, plan and choose the support wisely.
- Strings Should Be Easily Found – The development process is always a never-ending saga. If you can make sure that strings are easily available then the process becomes smooth and easy. This leverages the App Localization process.
- Avoid Concatenation – Batching strings together is called Concatenation. Lumping strings together and breaking them into small portions creates a disturbance for modifiers and translators later on. It hinders the whole development process too. Avoiding concatenation is how to localize an application.
- Strings Should Have Punctuation – Even in a hybrid mobile app development process, a developer likes to use the same string with different punctuation, right? But still, don’t save strings without punctuation. This distorts the translator’s perspective who needs to punctuate as per his idea which may not be true. This also leads to concatenation. Consider that punctuation is part of the string and save them in resource files as they are. Follow it like a golden rule.
- Avoid The Following – Time, Date and Currency should never be hard coded. The world is already a complicated place with different expressions and usages of time, date and currency formats. Hard coding them and their formats mean ruining the flexibility for other locales.
- Consider Different Ways of Ordering Names – In India there is a concept called surname or full name. In Western countries, there are First names, last names and middle names. The sequence of names in Japan and other Asian countries is distinct. Any US web development company should consider them all during their mobile app development for the best localization web app.
- UTF-8 For Encoding of Character With One Exception – Opinions can be diverse and divisive. But in general, UTF-8 aids in flexible and proper character encoding during custom software development. This in turn aids in the best localization web app. In the case of Asian languages, use UTF-16.
- Consider Country/Locale, Not Language – Language may be particular to a country, but it is not synonymous. In custom app development, consider locale or country. Considering a language might hinder the app localization, as a country like India has many languages.
- Believe in User, Not Browser – Don’t program apps keeping the browser in mind. Your end consumer is the user, not a browser. It can be a component for usage but the user is important. Understand the user. Stand in their shoes. Believe in that user’s requirements.
- Languages Shall Be Easily Interchangeable – Think like a user. Isn’t it annoying when you can’t change the language in your app as and when you want? Localization web apps happen better when languages can be interchangeable.
- But Don’t Force Language Change – Never force users for anything. If it is about a language switch then you should never do it, as it can turn off the user’s interest in the app.
- Remember There Can Be Plurals As Well – Always remember that there can be more plurals than singulars. For example, there are plural nouns in English that exist by adding ‘s’, ‘es’ etc. Remember to consider every possibility.
- Always Sort Only On Server – When the sort function is used, the browser may only sort in the current locale. So for a successful sort function always use it on the server. It will happen to the entire case, not just for the current locale or region.
- Consider The Directionality – Generally, many apps support left to right directionality of the text. However, there are close to 32 languages that go from the right to the left. Considering such a directional change is important while mobile app development.
- Colour Switching Should Be Easy – Remember, it is all about the user and their flexibility to customize. If users can switch the colors whenever they feel like it, it increases the usage and feel of the app.
- Expert Advice – Always be ready to improve the app and localizing it well. Seek expert and experienced programmers’ advice to make the app reachable to a larger demographic than before.
Go Local To Global With TechRev!
App localization is important for the success of the apps. That is why the above app localization best practices are offered to shed a light on mobile and web app localization.
To understand the importance and plan for better localization tools, contact TechRev for further assistance!
Start your localization journey!