It's hard to believe that it's been barely over a decade since Steve Jobs first walked across a stage in California and introduced the world to the iPhone.
To be fair, smartphones definitely existed before that moment, but it's hard to deny the fact that such a powerful little device changed the world as we know it. This is true both in terms of the ways we communicate with one another and how businesses have come to operate on a global scale.
Because travel companies in particular draw audiences from all over the world, localization has always been of critical importance in the industry. Localizing something like a blog post is one thing, but localizing a resource as extensive as an entire mobile application is something else entirely. It's not necessarily a difficult process, but it is an incredibly precise one. Therefore, if you want to make sure you're properly localizing your travel app, there are a few key things you'll definitely want to keep in mind.
Prioritize marketing content whenever possible
Global customers have an incredibly diverse array of travel companies to choose from in order to meet their needs, which means that you need to do all you can to stand out from the crowd. As such, one of the first steps you need to take when localizing your travel app actually involves localizing all of the accompanying marketing content as soon as possible.
This includes content such as advertisements, blogs, newsletters, social media posts, emails, press releases and more. You'll also want to make it a priority to localize all customer resources, such as KnowledgeBases, that audiences require to learn how to actually use your app once it goes live.
Don't forget that marketing content isn't just a value-add for your audience, it's one of the most important outward-facing resources you have available to you. Because of this, localizing every asset that falls into this category is just as important as localizing the app itself.
Functionality is critical
Along the same lines, you'll also want to pay particular attention to digital assets people need in order to use and understand your travel app, but not necessarily in the way you might be expecting.
Whenever possible, try to avoid the need for on-screen instructions on how to use your travel app cluttering your user interface. Instead of using text, try to leverage icons and other symbol-based images whenever possible.
Not only does this help to convey a large amount of functionality (not to mention essential information) in a relatively small space, but it also cuts down on the total amount of content you have to localize in the first place. A visual element like an icon can convey the same idea regardless of language - thus significantly cutting down on the learning curve associated with your travel app.
The device matters more than you realize
Best practices in responsive design have always been important when it comes to travel apps. But when talking about the localization of that app, it becomes even more so.
Let's say you designed your travel app for English-language users and it functions perfectly to that end. But when you take that same text and translate it into German, suddenly even simple phrases can take up much more space than before - thus throwing off the entire design layout your app was built around.
Because of all this, you absolutely need to take into account screen size limitations when localizing your app. This is true both for apps designed to run on smartphones and on larger devices like tablets.
For the best results, if you begin your app design efforts in English, try to use text boxes that are a bit larger than you actually need. That way, when you do localize all that content, the text can change but the dimensions of the box will be able to stay the same - thus preserving the same basic experience (and the quality of that experience) across all language markets.
If you'd like to find out more information about all the things you need to be aware of as you move to localize your travel app, or if you just have additional questions that you would like to discuss with an expert in a bit more detail, please don't delay - contact Andovar today!