UX localization for sports tech brands

Ever found yourself heading off route? Everything feels unfamiliar? (Not in a good way.) It’s time to back out. ASAP.

If you’re not thinking about UX localization when translating your app or software, that’s how your users are probably feeling. (Spoiler alert: it’s definitely affecting your churn rate.)

UX localization isn’t just about translating the words in your app. It’s making sure your app feels easy to use in any language. As effortless and smooth as a dream descent on fresh snow. You’ve made this awesome app. Now get more people using it. And loving it.

When should you start thinking about UX? Right now.

WHAT IS USER EXPERIENCE (UX)?

User experience (or UX) is about how natural, comfortable and easy it feels for people to use your app or software. All the different elements – from the code to the design – make this happen. Sounds simple, right? But there’s a lot to think about. From getting the sports terminology right to cultural considerations and design.

 

Localization and user experience

Ready to translate your app into different languages? Hold up! First you need to internationalize and get your app or software ready. Skip this step, and you’ll probably regret it. Much like climbing on a knotted rope, or trying that half-pipe without tightening your boots first. 

Internationalization means laying the groundwork to make your app work in any language. To make sure you don’t end up with hundreds of bugs when you start localizing, which will delay time to market and cost more. OK, but where do you even start? How do you make sure your app works well in every language and gets downloads across the globe?Here are just a few things you need to think about.

Language lenght, encoding standards and font sizes

Some languages are just naturally longer than others. For example, when you translate from English into any romance language (like Italian or French), the text typically expands by a whopping 30%. Other languages, like Chinese, will be 30% shorter!

You need to be sure that your app isn’t going to get into a tangle with longer words, especially in your menus or places where space is usually limited. This is also when you make sure the font and encoding standard you’ve chosen can support different characters. While we’re at it, we also make sure your app can handle different currencies and number formats.

outdoor sports translation

Supporting right-to-left and left-to-right languages

English is a left-to-right language. But switch an app from English into Hebrew (a right-to-left language) and the whole navigation needs rethinking. Not a small detail, if you want to appeal to target audiences in the Middle East, Asia, and North Africa. A pretty huge market, we hear you say. Layouts, menus, buttons, images – you’ll need to think about all of that and more if you want to break into these regions.

Colors, images and designs

Localization is more than translation. It’s looking at the bigger picture, including color and design, and making sure that the images you use are appropriate for each market. Across different cultures, even how we interpret colors changes. In China, red is a lucky color, but in other countries it’s a sign of danger. Smart use of colors makes your app so much more intuitive and easy to use.

outdoor sports translation

Variables and placeholders

Getting more technical here. Variables and placeholders are parts of your code that – in theory – can be left untouched and programmatically reused even when the text around them changes. Now, that might work in English. As soon as you start localizing in other languages, though, you can forget about it. That’s why you need to work with someone who can speak your developers’ lingo, too.

GIVE YOUR USERS A GREAT EXPERIENCE WHATEVER LANGUAGE THEY SPEAK

Wow. A lot to think about, right? And we’ve only just scratched the surface.  We’re here to make it easy for you. If you need translations for sports and fit tech apps, look no further.

✔️ We’ll get you on the right track, so that ongoing localization becomes an easy and straightforward part of your product development and updating. We’re used to working closely with our clients’ developing teams to make things easier and faster for everyone to add other languages? Easy peasy.

✔️ Thanks to continuous localization and smart automation, such as software we can plug into your app, there’ll be less hands-on work for you (no more manually updating languages). This helps with consistency and quality too. And that’s a win-win, right?

The Action Sports Translator helped turn a full-time project into something I only had to check in on a few hours a week. They basically reduced my project management overhead by at least 1000% – instead of spending 5 days a week on this like I did with previous rounds, it was more like a half day (with some busier weeks every now and then).

Craig T., Copywriter @ komoot

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Our adventure sports translation and writing specialists are here to help you grow across borders.

Make an inquiry using the form or send us an email to hello@theactionsportstranslator.com. We'll get back to you within a couple of hours.

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Our office are registered in Estonia, but our team members and translators are scattered all over the world. Find us at the ski resort, surf spot or climbing crag near you.

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beyond borders

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