Don’t forget about the feedback of your users when you localize your mobile app
Mobile apps have to be localized quickly and efficiently to reach new markets as soon as possible. No matter what technology you choose to achieve it and what regions you target, you can’t forget about the key ingredient: your users.
For mobile app localization to be successful you need much more than choosing the most profitable regions and languages. You’ll need to get to know your target users first.
Step 1: Before you start
Measuring all your apps and target audiences with the same formula is the fastest way to ruin your localization efforts.
You’ve heard that most profitable languages are Chinese, Korean, German or Portuguese, so you decide to translate your strings into these languages. You’ve read that you need to delete or redesign items that seem to belong to another culture, so you proceed in this way as well.
But that’s where things start to go wrong.
Your app may be more successful, if you go for less obvious choices: smaller regions or less popular languages. Your product may be more appealing to your users if they see new ideas, images and design that they haven’t seen in the local products so far. That’s why getting to know your target customers, exploring their preferences and expectations is such a vital process.
So, before you start localizing your app, perform a market research to paint a detailed picture of your target users in every market that you’re planning to enter.
Step 2: During your tests
Another important stage when you should consider your target users is the testing phase. For example, you can involve your local users to review your localized mobile app. Your in-house testers, linguists or localization specialists may have different ideas than your target users, so make sure that your testing team doesn’t only include language, culture and technology experts, but also the actual end users of your localized app. Let them go through the checkout process from their physical location, interact with different features or use extra products you offer in the app to be able to receive as much feedback as possible.
Listening to your users and implementing their tips before the app is published will help you tweak your product and make it more engaging.
Step 3: Once your app is published
Your communication with your users shouldn’t end once the app is available in the app stores. That’s where another phase of your journey begins. Be open to more feedback, more suggestions, criticism and praise that will surely appear in the online and offline world. Keep engaging with your users via social media, reading their reviews in the app stores and checking other platforms. Make sure to analyze the feedback from all regions to find out how your app fares on every market.
The feedback gathered once your localized versions are published will help you decide what localization level your users really need. For example, you may find out that they’re more likely to purchase apps that have a foreign flair and don’t trust the “local” products so much. Maybe they’re more willing to pay for apps from specific categories such as time management, finances and streaming services, but wouldn’t pay for other types such as fitness, meditations or culinary apps. There’s a lot you can learn from your users if you listen carefully.
No app is good enough if your users aren’t happy. The same goes for your localized versions and for your users in foreign markets. Make sure you can adapt you product to your customers, by acting upon their feedback on every single step.
Over to you
What’s your strategy to communicate with your app users around the world?
Dorota Pawlak is a localization consultant for digital brands. She enjoys helping businesses enter new markets and is passionate about cultures, languages, and technology.
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