When traveling to a foreign country where you don’t speak the native language, a translation dictionary is an indispensable asset. Without being able to communicate with the locals, you might have trouble with simple tasks like ordering a meal or finding your hotel. Equipping yourself with tools like a translation dictionary allows for universal communication that will broaden your ability to connect with others and give you the opportunity for a more seamless and enjoyable experience.
Today’s business leaders need to think of themselves, and their brands, as world travelers as well. The Internet is a platform through which anyone can reach out to your organization. At any given time, your website has the potential to draw traffic from every corner of the globe.
If you want to capitalize on the potential of the global digital economy, be sure your website or application has universal appeal.
However, online translating services are inefficient and may end up obscuring your messaging. On top of that, creating a version of your website for every language would be costly and impractical.
In fact, addressing the language barrier alone is not enough to garner universal appeal. You need to ensure that your organization can connect with millennials as well as baby boomers. You’ve got to find a way to make sure your messaging isn’t obscured when a user has a hearing or vision impairment, either.
By designing with inclusivity in mind, you’ll be sure that no matter how your users engage your organization, nothing will be lost in translation.
So what can you do to make sure your organization’s website has global appeal and gets your message across clearly?
Below are five things to keep in mind if you’re striving for a more universal user experience.
Simplify navigation with automated tutorials
Even if a user is interested in procuring your services, if his or her path through your sales funnel is obscured the individual may abandon their pursuit in favor of one of your competitors. To make navigation simpler, integrate an automated tutorial that demonstrates how to access critical features of your site.
Not only will this help users with impairments find what they’re looking for more quickly, but this design element will increase engagement at the same time, providing a more satisfactory user experience.
Replace words with images
Instead of hoping that your visitors will read all the text on your site, replace words with images or symbols when possible.
For instance, the image of a shopping cart is commonly used to represent the purchasing page of a website. Instead of using text that reads “click here to return to the homepage,” use the image of a house.
These are global images that get the point across and will result in less likelihood that these more important functions will get lost in translation.
In the early days of Facebook, the site was designed only for college students. Log on today and you might even be getting friend requests from your grandparents.
Social media sites, whether Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn—or dozens of others for that matter—are shared public forums that are widely recognized around the world today.
Provide social icons that link to your profiles on your homepage and you’ll likely create cross traffic. That way, even if a user doesn’t feel comfortable engaging with your website, he or she can easily navigate to a forum that is more familiar to them.
Diversify content delivery
Those with a hearing impairment will not respond well to audio features on your page. Those with poor sight won’t respond well to video. Foreign language speakers may leave your site if they see a large block of text.
To appeal to as many potential customers as possible, diversify the mediums by which the contents of your page are delivered.
For instance, don’t introduce video unless accompanied by subtitles. In addition, all users are compelled to make purchases for different reasons. Diversify your content to appeal to a broad spectrum of users by including case studies or reviews to demonstrate value. Or you can even position your brand and employees as trustworthy industry leaders with an educational blog.
Be mindful of mobile
A 2016 Statista report anticipates that by 2019, there will be over 5 billion people accessing the Internet by way of mobile devices. Broaden your appeal by improving the mobile user experience. This could mean taking a more bare-bones approach to UX by trimming unnecessary elements to account for the smaller screens of mobile devices.
Your organization cannot hope to continue growing if you’re not willing to broaden your appeal. Crafting a user experience that will connect to more individuals can break down the barriers that may have prevented them from developing a relationship with your brand before.
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