Minimum Viable Localization is the best way to test unknown markets before you go all-in with localizing your app. It simply means that you localize some of the must-have features of your app, like the app description, title, and keywords in a language specific to the country of your choice.
This will help you test the interest for your app in that particular market and naturally, potentially save a lot of money. That’s why we decided to point out the most important steps to this in our Minimum Viable Localization guide – just keep on reading!
Step #1: Plan your app design with localization in mind
We know we are constantly repeating the fact that planning is the key, but believe us, a flexible and simplified app structure will make the localization process easier. The app design that fits an English-language text may not be suitable for French, where some words are considerably longer, and therefore contain more characters.
Where to start? Some of the basic rules for planning your localization include:
- Creating resource files – be sure to externalize all strings
- Plan the UI with text expansion in mind
- Avoid hard-coded text strings
- Avoid text embedded in images
- Use a TMS that enables easy exchange of reference materials between team members (for a better understanding of the context of individual strings when translating)
Step #2: Get in touch with your audience
Nothing will make you understand what the key app elements in a specific market are than feedback from a local. Speak to potential customers and domain experts in your targeted location. Research the topic, ask questions on Quora if you have to. Listen to people’s opinions and experience.
And, maybe most importantly, make a list of everything that is required to make your app ready for a strong launch in the new market. This may include special features and behaviors like potential integrations and hosting.
Step #3. Don’t avoid basic visual localization
Localization will not only include translating text but also the visual identity of your app. While of course translating the most essential content is crucial, consider adapting some of the key UI elements.
Step #4: Test your localized app before launching
User tests will make sure that your app has no major bugs. The best practice is testing the app on an actual device, as opposed to a simulator.
The people who will test the localized version should be native speakers without any knowledge of the localization process. These tests should include:
- UI Testing: this will ensure that the expansion of translated text doesn’t break the UI
- Functionality: make sure all options in the localized app work the same as in the ‘original’
- Linguistics: Content translation should be correct, understandable and accurate
Feel free to contact us to ask about help with localizing your app!