The Importance of Testing in Global User Experience

welocalize August 26, 2021

Testing is an integral part of developing software, websites, and apps before they’re launched. Localizing them for multiple countries and languages adds a layer of complexity. There are two areas that need testing: content and functionality.

Mistranslated words, truncated phrases, broken links, expanded text, and misaligned menus are just some potential problems. These negatively affect the user experience, and as a result, the entire customer experience.

That is why it’s important to conduct testing to ensure your product works as it should. You want the customers in your target locale to feel that you developed your product specifically for them.

Linguistic and Functional Testing in the Localization Workflow

Part of the localization workflow is linguistic and functional testing. This involves reviewing the quality of the localization work itself and ensuring that the software or website looks and works as intended.

Linguistic Testing

Linguistic testing checks on correct translation and validates cultural appropriateness. This includes:

  • Correcting typographical, spelling, and grammatical errors
  • Reviewing the correct use of terminology, abbreviations, units of measurement, number formats, and currency
  • Checking that colors, graphics, symbols, photos, and layout are culturally relevant

Translating from the source language to a target language could result in display errors and aesthetic issues. Sentences can contract and expand after translation. Menus, buttons, and tables, for example, can have misaligned text because of this. Testing fixes these issues.

Functional Testing

After the content and user interface are localized, your website, software, or app should function the same way in every locale it is available. Functional testing is conducted for:

  • Detecting and resolving possible usability issues, such as software bugs, system crashes, code errors, and broken links
  • Conducting user experience testing to make sure your customers can navigate and use your product easily
  • Reviewing how your website or app looks like on different devices, browsers, and operating systems

Impact of Language on Customer Experience

Clearly, language has a major impact on customer experience. Research shows that customers prefer to read information, make purchases, and get customer support in their own language. Common Sense Advisory’s 2020 edition of its Can’t Read, Won’t Buy survey sampled representatives from 29 countries. Some 65% prefer to read content in their own language. The same percentage still prefers content in their language, even if the quality is poor.

Around 40% of respondents said they won’t buy online if the website is in another language. And 30% answered that they never buy from English-language websites. Of those that do, 66% use online machine translation when buying online. However, they are unsure if they’re getting an accurate translation. Thus, they hesitate to complete their transactions.

Why Testing Is So Important to Global Brands

To provide the best customer experience, global brands must not only localize content and user interface (UI) but also run rigid linguistic and functional testing. This should be the plan from the start and not done after the fact. For software launches especially, simultaneous shipping (“simship”) requires releasing the same product in multiple languages.

It’s difficult to have a successful software release if the product is only available in English or is poorly translated. Website launches in other countries are rarely done simultaneously, yet the same principle applies: Get it right by testing the localized version.

For global brands, testing means fewer launch delays and faster time to market. This should result in lower customer support costs, better user experience, better customer experience, and higher revenue.

With 1.2 billion users, Microsoft Office products and services are used all over the world in 170 countries in 32 languages and growing. With continuous updates and releases, testing is a key part in the overall internationalization process. Microsoft focuses on localization testing to ensure quality and great user experience in the local language.

Working with Testing Experts for Global Readiness

Doing your own localization and testing in-house is not practical, particularly if you are launching into multiple markets worldwide. Yes, you can just release your product one locale at a time. However, you still need linguistic experts versed in the local culture and experienced in localization work.

A better alternative is to hire a language service provider (LSP) with experience in localization and testing in the languages and countries you plan to expand to. An LSP that can do both linguistic quality assurance (QA) and functional testing offers the best value.

Partner with Welocalize

Welocalize supports many leading software and technology brands with high-quality multilingual validation and testing services. Our global QA and testing teams are located in secure multilingual testing labs in Portland, Oregon, Haryana, India, and Cluj, Romania.

We support over 60 languages using automation technology, along with our team of qualified testers and engineers. Our services range from functional and linguistic software testing to content validation. We work across all types of platforms, including mobile, browsers, virtual, desktop, and servers.

For more information on Welocalize QA and testing services, contact us.