In part three of web design localization we look at local Internet speeds, security and payment gateways and cultural associations and sensitivities.
Local Internet Speeds
Many countries do not yet have 5G. In addition, 5G has not yet reached all the major cities even in nations where it is already used.
Throughout the world, internet users by the billions utilize 3G or 4G networks. As a result, your website will load much more slowly for many of your users. In addition, animations, large images, and videos dramatically slow down the experience for these users. This poor performance results in dramatically higher bounce rates for users who have slower connections.
When developing locally specific website versions, keep the average speed of each country’s internet in mind. For countries that have slower connections, you may need to simplify the interface and scale down the site.
Security and Payment Gateways
If you operate an e-commerce site, a secure international gateway for payments is essential. You cannot accept payments securely from international buyers using credit or debit cards without an appropriate secure gateway.
There are several gateway choices such as PayPal and Stripe for handling international payments. You can factor in gateway fees while you work on your website’s budget for localization.
Cultural Associations and Sensitivities
As mentioned above, some gestures which are perfectly acceptable and positive in certain cultures may be offensive to other cultures. In a less extreme case, an image or gesture which is easily recognizable in most countries may get totally lost with audiences from other countries. As you choose images for your site, such as stock images with people in various scenarios, bio photos of your team members or yourself, or models posed with clothing and products, make sure that you keep cultural norms in mind. A casual pose of you smiling with your thumbs up may seem exuberant and fun to Western viewers, but it can seriously undermine your company’s credibility when viewed by visitors in other regions of the world.
Aside from gestures, conduct research on color associations in your target markets before choosing brand colors. A helpful tool in brand color palette decisions is color psychology. Research on color should be used along with other cultural associations of color in regard to your target markets.
In addition, examine how particular concepts and images may be interpreted in different cultures. This consideration extends to product names, taglines, and the tone of website copy. For example, copy directed to consumers in individualistic cultures would require a tone shift in order to connect with people in collective cultures.