In the world of medicine, the term "triage" is defined as "the assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses, which is often necessary to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties."
Everyone knows that not all content is created equally. But having said that, how do you know which types of content you need to focus on FIRST with regards to your localization efforts? It's all important - but some are undoubtedly more "urgent" than others, as figuring out what order to translate in is one of the best chances you have to make sure that all materials roll out in a seamless and timely fashion.
Thankfully, this process is far easier than one might suspect. Taking the triage example, you can perform what Andovar refers to as a "Content Triage." Not only will this allow you to consider the precise role and value of content before your translation efforts begin, it can also unlock valuable information that you can use to assist with budgeting and quality control purposes too.
Triage your content
The categories to pay attention to
When it comes to actually prioritizing your content based on categories, think first about the audience that the content is for and then about what they'll need that content to help them do.
Consider the following four categories in order of "most important" to "least important":
- Externally directed, higher value content. Think things like advertising materials, your website's user interface, annual reports, contracts and more.
- Externally directed, lower value content. This would be things like news items, Help Desk and/or Knowledge Base content and short lifespan content.
- Internally directed, lower value content. Examples of this would be emails, unofficial blog content and anything that helps with day-to-day communication.
- Internally directed, higher value content. These would be materials like employee safety training documents, employee policies and even design specifications.
By focusing your attention on these types of documents in that order, you are ensuring that you're focusing your translation efforts on the materials that you urgently need versus those that can wait (but not wait forever of course). Externally facing documents obviously come first, because they directly impact how people perceive your brand. Internal documents are always critical, but separating them into two distinct categories based on purpose lets you know what has a pressing need to be completed and which requires less attention.
Minimizing your risk with the right type of translation
Once you've performed that part of the Content Triage, you can assign content to differing types of translation services based on priority. Consider the following service levels offered by a provider like Andovar:
- Full-Step Professional Translation, which is standard when high-quality translation is mandatory.
- Early Career (EC) Translation, which is similar to the above but employs translators who may just be starting out in their careers.
- Customized Machine Translation (MT), which is great for high volume content with low immediate value.
Not everything in the previous four categories requires Full-Step Professional Translation. Your website's user interface? Yes. Those thousands of pages of frequently asked questions or Help Desk items? No.
By understanding what value your content holds, you can then make the best decision possible about how to perform those translation and localization services. This not only helps make sure that the content you need is there for the situations that demand it, but it still gets the rest of the work done properly for those jobs that don't necessarily need the "be-all and end-all" in translation services based on their relative utility and value.
If you prioritize your translation and localization efforts in this order, you'll put yourself in the best possible position to get those documents finished and into the hands of the people who truly need them in the fastest and most effective ways possible.
If you'd like to find out more about how to leverage the concept of a Content Triage to your advantage, or if you just have any additional questions that you'd like to discuss in a bit more detail, please don't delay - contact Andovar today.