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4 Tips on Cross-Cultural Web Design

February 4, 2014

Cross-cultural web designIt’s a big challenge to make your site well-received in any place easily communicating across cultures.

This is a big deal due to the different aesthetic preferences of every people, so you must find a way to incorporate all the cultural biases in the world to build a great cross-cultural design.

Fortunately, we have a thing (or four) to offer you on this account. Here are our tips on how to solve your cross-cultural designer challenge in terms of your web site’s content, keywords, colors and layout.

  1. Traveling Content

Your English language is extremely important if you want your content “travel” across the world. Only by translating your content into English can you be sure of your site’s decent ranking and success with visitors. Your multilingual content should be well-written, relevant, targeted and in good English. Since over 70% of web users don’t speak English as a native language, chances are sooner or later you’ll have to translate your content into other languages. At this point you’ll need a good human translator, because still no software translates better than human experts.

  1. Translating Keywords

This aspect of the content can’t be left to any automatic translation service, because it’s just too important. You project’s search engine optimization depends on keywords, that’s why to ensure they are translated properly, only a professional translator should be hired. No dictionary can do this work better since its direct translation may not be right. Besides, a translator with some experience in the web content could help greatly with the keyword research for your targeted market.

  1. Captivating Colors

Colors account for a significant part of your web design success. While choosing colors for your site, it’s critical to learn about their uses in different cultures first. Thus, red often symbolizes passion and power in the West while it’s good luck and celebration in China, and with purity in India. Similarly, green has environmental overtones if we speak of western cultures, but it serves for religious purposes in Islamic countries. To tune into the right colors for your site’s purposes, it’s necessary to run some research to determine your audience nationalities and their preferences for your design.

  1. Working Layout

Keep the content separate from design by using the well-formed CSS which will make switching between the content languages easier. Mind also that the widest language scripts’ range is allowed by UTF-8 encoding of characters. What’s more, remember that languages differ in space and some language scripts can require greater line heights etc. Since some languages are read left-to-right, the way around this can be horizontal navigation structure over the page top.

Staying aware of cultural preferences among your global audience will ensure your localized sites are well-received by the maximum number of people and anticipate your traffic and profit rise.