The Why, What, and the How of World UX
We have been talking about UX and specifically international UX for quite some time, this
conversation is more critical today than ever before. The new reality has triggered an
unprecedented digital acceleration for businesses across every industry. Today companies
need to become digital-first to survive. We think that it is crucial to recognize that global
digital experiences are comparable to native user experiences.
Successful digital forward businesses are putting CX and UX first and embedding global
readiness into both elements. In this roundtable discussion, we discuss the Why, What, and
the How of World UX.
The Vistatec World UX Roundtable event, took place on November 18, 2020, hosted by
María Jesús de Arriba Díaz of Vistatec, in conversation with Alberto Ferreira, Vodafone,
Tarja Karjalainen, Oura, Pat Higgins, Verizon Connect, Ryan Moroz, LINE Plus Corp, and
Sergio Valero Notari, Doctoralia. This online round table event aimed to share learnings on
why it is vital to bring design, content, and localization together. To visualize what an ideal
World UX would look like, and to hear real-life tips to get you started on this journey
UX and a Wider World View
Good design has always been important; however, it is becoming increasingly critical and
relevant in the broader world of localization. In an online world, the user experience is a
fundamental factor in how our product, service, messaging is experienced and understood.
Pat Higgins of Verizon connect states “We know that everybody knows prevention is better
and cheaper.” while discussing the topic. He goes on to say that “working with the devs to
prevent stuff, got my interest going in design.” Localization teams are becoming more
involved in design than ever before. How a user experiences something is joined and linked
in the message and the content. For some groups, they have focussed on areas that would
help to guide the process such as the requirement for improved English text so that a better
source for the translations is available. Other areas include simplifying the text, and the
utilization of less technical terms unless it is very industry-specific.
Creating the best design for the broadest number of potential users is a significant area of
focus when it comes to UX. There is a common goal of trying to create a better product or
service for a large number of users. “UX will bring the design, that’s the fix, the solution to
their problem and that’s great, but then the content can sharpen that, clarify, chose what to
do, how to do it, when to do it or where to do it because sometimes an icon on its own won’t
explain an issue,” added Pat Higgins.
Localization can help bring a more comprehensive world view. Some localization teams are working closely with designers, explaining why and how a change appeals to more people,
which is ultimately helping to create an even better product or service for their customers.
UX plays an essential role in the language, currency, and broader elements of a product or service. The three groups of design, content, and localization are ‘World UX’, and they create
the experience for the end-user.
Design, Content and Localization
There has been a shifting focus from merely looking at UX, UI, or localization in a separate
way to looking at it from a holistic experience. Language experts are beginning to focus
closer on the entire user experience of a product or service. “It’s about the whole journey. It’s
straightforward to see where the international user gets kind of forgotten. It is where the
language support usually ends, there are parts of the journey where you might not often
support multiple languages, or you have neglected to see differences,” comments Tarja
Karjalainen, Oura. These examples are often seen or experienced in the way that these
users like to use apps or browse/search for things.
It is essential to have these areas working together. It is the importance and the cooperation
between the three elements UX, Content, and Localization, that can make a real difference.
When it comes to design, it can support different languages and cultures; it can be a winning
combination. Things are becoming more globalized, which sees a large requirement for UX
in the mobile space. As Ryan Moraz, LINE Plus Corp states, “If you want to meet all these
users where they are around the world, you have to consider that in their design, and plan
out the content that goes in there, so those three things are very linked.”
The design link to localization that we have all experienced recently with the digital
acceleration has increased the requirement to focus on being increasingly
internationally-minded on design elements. Alberto Ferreira, Vodafone summed it up nicely
“Localization plays a key role in the design, and that is all part of a mindset shift as an industry we need to consider.”