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Global by Design

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Channel Title: Global by Design
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Channel Description: Adventures in web globalization and global marketing

Languages are a means to an end, a journey as well as a destination
I recently wrote an op-ed for the Seattle Times about the importance and value of thinking globally. Here’s an excerpt: Consider Starbucks. In 2003, this aspiring global company supported a mere three languages. Today, it supports 25, which may sound like a lot until you compare it to many other global brands. Among the leading … more

IKEA: The best global retail website of 2017
For the 2017 Web Globalization Report Card, I benchmarked the following 9 retail websites: H&M IKEA LUSH McDonald’s MUJI Starbucks UNIQLO Walmart Zara For the purposes of this report, the retail segment includes only those companies that support physical retail locations within the markets they serve. While Amazon is in the early stages of rolling out retail locations, … more

Think Outside the Country
I’m pleased to announce the publication of my newest book: Think Outside the Country: A Guide to Going Global and Succeeding in the Translation Economy. This book is the result of the past decade spent working with marketing and web teams around the world. I’ve long wanted to have something I could pass along that … more

Intel: The best global enterprise technology website of 2017
For the 2017 Web Globalization Report Card, I benchmarked the following 10 enterprise technology  websites: Autodesk Cisco Systems HP Enterprise Huawei IBM Intel Oracle SAP Texas Instruments Xerox Intel emerged on top for the second year in a row, followed by Cisco Systems and Autodesk. A new entrant this year is HP Enterprise, which ranked relatively … more

Think Outside the Country: Coming April 10th
  I’m pleased to announce the new book Think Outside the Country: A Guide to Going Global and Succeeding in the Translation Economy, due out on April 10th. Think Outside the Country is isn’t strictly about taking a website or mobile app global, though you’ll find plenty of real-world examples about how to do just that. Ultimately, this … more The best global travel website of 2017
For the 2017 Web Globalization Report Card, we studied the following 24 travel websites: Air France Airbnb American Airlines Avis British Airways Delta Emirates Enterprise Expedia Four Seasons Hertz Hilton Hyatt InterContinental Hotels Kayak KLM Marriott Royal Caribbean Sixt TripAdvisor Uber United Airlines This is the third year that we’ve combined web-based travel services … more

Amazon embraces the globe icon as it launches Spanish support for US shoppers
I first noticed this while creating the 2017 Web Globalization Report Card — not on the US website but the German site. But today Amazon rolled out support for Spanish for the US. According to CNET: A spokeswoman for the Seattle-based online retailer told CNET on Thursday that the website has begun adding Spanish. The change … more

The Internet connects devices; Language connects people
There are more than three billion people on the internet today, yet fewer than 25% speak English natively. Roughly a billion of these non-English speakers connect to the Internet via mobile device. Hence this new poster from Byte Level Research. To learn more and order, click here. A copy of this print is bundled in with … more

The top 25 global websites from the 2017 Web Globalization Report Card
I’m excited to announce the publication of The 2017 Web Globalization Report Card. This is the most ambitious report I’ve written so far and it sheds light on a number of new and established best practices in website globalization. Here are the top-scoring websites from the report: For regular readers of this blog, you’ll notice that Google … more

Websites are dead. Long live websites.
Remember not very long ago when social media experts were preaching the value of a Facebook page over a website? It was not uncommon to be told to dump your website altogether in favor of a Facebook page and Twitter feed. Why bother with HTML when you you could simply hashtag your way to global success? My … more

Conduent and 5 tips for creating a more world-ready website
Xerox recently spun off its services unit into a billion-dollar global company known as Conduent. I took a quick look at the Conduent website to see how world-ready this “global” website had become in its very first iteration. And, spoiler alert, it’s clear that Conduent is only just getting started. Here’s an excerpt of the home page: And a close-up of the … more

Celebrating the “Father of Pinyin”
I was saddened to read that “the father of Pinyin” died this weekend in Beijing (though he did live to be 111 years old). While until now I never knew very much about the man himself — who daringly criticized the Chinese government, wrote dozens of books, and was exiled during the Cultural Revolution — … more

Language Connects People
I’ve just printed a new batch of our popular Language Connects People posters and have a few that are not quite perfect that I’m offering at a discounted price. As you can see here, there is a small black line around the edges — nothing you’d see after framing, but not quite perfect. If you’re … more

Lululemon: Global shipping is step one
Lululemon provides an interesting case study of a US-based retailer taking its first steps towards going global. And, like all first steps, this one is rather awkward. To be clear, Lululemon is only focused on shipping globally, which is a nice feature for English-speaking customers around the world. But I wish the website made this explicitly … more

NOTO, as in No Tofu
First of all, I love tofu. But when you see it on a computer screen, it’s not so nice. Like those two rows of “tofu-shaped” objects shown below that indicate a missing font: Tofu used to be a much bigger problem ten years ago, back when fonts are strictly aligned with different character sets and computers … more

Boeing and the trouble with flags in global gateways
Examine the Boeing global gateway below and see if you can see a problem: I did not realize the Middle East had an official flag but, according to this gateway, it does. And herein lies a major problem with using flags — they’re not well suited to regional websites. Apple has a similar problem as illustrated by its … more

The world’s biggest shopping day is November 11th
China’s Alibaba is the creator (and exporter) of this one-day ecommerce extravaganza that takes place on 11/11. And despite being a one-day event the pre-promotion is in full effect. According to brandchannel, Alibaba is intent to set new records this year by expanding beyond China’s border. Its long-term goal is two billion shoppers, so they have no … more

Tiffany: The best luxury website of 2016
This year, we benchmarked the following seven luxury websites for the 2016 Web Globalization Report Card: Burberry Cartier Gucci Hermès Louis Vuitton Ralph Lauren Tiffany Out of these websites Tiffany emerged on top, largely because of its investment in global ecommerce. Most luxury brands have been late to embrace ecommerce and, even now, have a … more

Country Codes of the World XL
I love to design custom Country Code or IDN prints for various companies and organizations. And, on occasion, these prints can be quite large, as shown below: This photo is from the London office of a US-based company. I hope to see it in person someday. If you’re interested in a custom design for your office, or wherever, … more

More than half of the leading global websites support Thai
Following up on my previous post, I was asked just how prevalent Thai is on the leading global brands. According to the 2016 Web Globalization Report Card, Thai is now seen on 54% of the websites studied. Among the websites that support Thai are: Air France Airbnb Coca-Cola Dyson Emirates Expedia Ford Hertz Hilton Honeywell … more

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