As business expands its reach many companies found that their sites are unable to communicate with their wide customer base. And designing a website which is intended for global audience is quite a test for the skills of a web programmer as he has to take variety of things into account which he never thought about earlier. While a designer has to take several new things into account but design, performance and content still remains the top factors which designer needs to take into account. Below is a small article which shows how one can address all these factors for making a site which delivers the best experience for the global customer.
Finding the balance is an important step and this balance must be found between the branding of your site and target audience. It may sound straight but there are couple of things involved which actually needs to be balanced in order to achieve the harmony. These elements are:
These three not only have to meet the expectations of the customer but have to browser compatible as well. Now days, browsers are as diverse as the customer base. Though there are only few which are popular such as Firefox, Chrome and Netscape; the problem is that each of them has different rendering engine and render things differently depending upon the platform (OS) they are being used on.
As a designer you are forced to find the right balance between your modern looking site and wide variety of technologies.
Different languages have different effect on web design. For example, the phrase “Our insurance company provides maximum benefits” in English must wrap into next line on mobile device.
Also, you site must be mobile friendly which means that if the customer opens it up in mobile or tablet the entire website should adjust itself to the screen size automatically without having the customer to scroll horizontally in order to access the information.
One also needs to choose the fonts depending upon the language such as Arial, Verdana and Calibri for English, French, German and Italian. For Indo-Europeans you would like to select the fonts tagged with CE (central European). Supporting Arabic and Hebrew scripts have their own challenges associated with them. The best option is to dynamically determine in which font the site should load.
Users generally don’t have patience and for this reason page loading time is very critical. Therefore, one has to take special care of various performance parameters and must choose global hosting platforms such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services instead of local hosting services.
Testing the user interface is also very crucial. It is important to know that how your customers would experience your site on variety of devices. For example, the images on the website when viewed on desktop are perfectly aligned but when viewed on mobile and tablet are not aligned but are overlapping due to less screen space. You can use Chrome’s DevTools to test the website’s user interface and to simulate t on various devices.
Delivering content based on regions is the specialty of global brands. Regardless of where the user is located it always nice to serve the content which is personal to their language and culture. The most effective way to execute a successful content strategy is to leverage complete features on CMS.
In order to provide the most accurate experience one can use the web based human translation platform such as Gengo which can be used either for writing or for translation. Also, in order to support all characters it is important that your site is UTF-8 encoded. Apart from all this your content must also be relevant to your brand’s identity.
Building a website for global audience can be overwhelming task but can done by addressing these points one at a time which will help you in building a site which is truly meant for the global audience.