The case for translated UI (User Interface)

The proper translation of your software’s user interface is very important for the success of your product launch outside of the United States. When launching a new product into multiple countries, some clients will translate the user manuals and quick reference guides but leave the software in English.

We understand the reasoning, budgets can be tight and leaving the UI out of a translation project will certainly save you a bit of money.

But at what cost?

Will the lack of translated UI increase support tickets?

Will the lack of translated UI mean less traction or new sales in the target market?

The last thing you want to do is alienate a group of new customers.

Our suggestion when looking at new markets is to consider the software and documentation a single project.

While we certainly can utilize strategies when software translation is just not possible, you should plan for translated user interface in your products. It will provide a far richer experience for your user. This is especially true if your target country has a low adoption rate of the English language.

Think of it this way. What if you saw this sentence (this is just an example).

“Please print the report by selecting the 印刷 command under the ファイル submenu.”

The commands Print and File are left in Japanese in this instance. Just like we have difficulty understanding those parts of the sentence, your users will have the same issue.