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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, transcreation, marketing and design

Yet another reason to avoid using flags on your global gateway
As readers of this blog well know, I often refer to China and Taiwan when making the case for avoiding the use of flags on a global gateway. There are many others reasons, of course, but geopolitical issues have become more acute lately. I could also point to the Russia and Kosovo as another case … more

Welcome to the driver’s seat: Which automakers are doing the best job of welcoming female drivers in Saudi Arabia
It’s been a month since women have been legally allowed to drive in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and I wanted to get a sense for how this massive new audience of drivers was being welcomed by the world’s automakers. I spent time visiting the Saudi Arabia websites of a number of automakers, all included … more

To create a world-ready mobile app, think small, as in “lite”
If you don’t know what your mobile app weighs (in kilobytes), then it’s safe to say your emerging market strategy could use some tweaking. That’s not to be harsh, but to face the simple fact that mobile users in emerging markets (and even many developed markets) are quite sensitive to data usage. And for good … more

Globalia illustrates why your global gateway should be in the header
Globalia is the leading travel company in Spain, generating 3.5 billion euros in revenues across more than a dozen brands. I visited the global website recently and noticed something missing from the home page — my native language. Not surprisingly, the global home page defaults to Spanish. So I went looking for a link to … more

Speaking in Tongues: Corporate America needs to get religious about languages
I was happy to have an essay published in the recent issue of Multilingual. In the essay I write: While Wikipedia, Google and Facebook are among the leaders in languages at 298, 172 and 107 respectively, they don’t come even close to the website of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. That’s right. The world’s most linguistic website … more

Deloitte: The best global professional services website of 2018
For the 2018 Web Globalization Report Card, we studied the following 6 professional services websites: Accenture Capgemini Deloitte Ernst & Young KPMG PWC Last year, Deloitte and KPMG tied for first place. This year, Deloitte pulled ahead of KPMG with the top score. While KPMG may lead in languages, Deloitte leads in global navigation as … more

Think you can succeed in India supporting English only? Think again.
#serveinmylanguage It’s more than a hashtag; it’s a social movement. And it’s growing. A movement among Indian consumers to force the vendors who depend on their business to actually support their native languages. As this Times of India article notes: From ATMs to deposit slips, withdrawal challans and call centres, most public and private banks feel that … more

Internationalization resources complements of the W3C
Successful website globalization is all about asking questions. A key point I stress in Think Outside the Country is that nobody knows everything. Nobody can know everything. And you should not trust anyone who says or implies they do. And, honestly, that’s part of the fun of this field — from language to culture to … more

Country codes of the world. XL.
For quite some time people have asked me about creating a larger version of our Country Codes of the World map, something they could pin up in their conference rooms or on office walls. And a map without the legend, so that people could figure out on their own which ccTLDs stood for which country … more

Welcome to the Kingdom of eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland
When I read about Swaziland’s recent name change, by decree, my first thought was: What about the country code? As in .sz? As far as I can tell, it’s way too soon to know if the president has thought this far ahead. My guess is that things will stay the same for quite some time. … more

A unique look at the emerging multilingual Internet
I’m happy to announce that I’ve updated my map of the world’s internationalized domain names for 2018: The map includes all ICANN-approved country code IDNs for the world — more than 50 across more than 30 countries and regions. I’ve also included a sidebar that details the many scripts and languages now supported within India. … more

BMW: The best global automotive website of 2018
For the 2018 Web Globalization Report Card, we studied the following 16 automotive websites: Audi BMW Chevrolet Ford Honda Hyundai Land Rover Lexus Mercedes Mini Nissan Subaru Tesla Toyota Volkswagen Volvo Cars This year, BMW unseated Nissan, reclaiming the top spot. Both BMW and Nissan made the 25 list of best global websites. BMW deserves … more

Amazon Translate joins the machine translation crowd
Amazon announced earlier this week that it had made its home-grown Amazon Translate service generally available. Like other Amazon Web Services (AWS), you can leverage the service across websites, apps, as well as text to speech. I should stress that this is a “neural” machine translation service — which has proven surprisingly effective at getting … more

The globe icon has gone mainstream in global gateways
As readers of this blog know well, I’ve been advocating for the generic globe icon for use in the global gateway for some time.  I first called for the globe icon way back in 2004. So I suppose it helps to be patient and persistent! I noted last year that Amazon is now onboard with … more

A (free) font to celebrate Lithuanian independence
As a font geek, I loved this promotion courtesy of the Republic of Lithuania to develop a font that draws on the signatures from the Act of Independence of Lithuania. You can even add your signature to mark the centenary of independence: The font was created by FOLK and Eimantas Paškonis. The font is free … more

The Chinese Typewriter
I recently read The Chinese Typewriter by Thomas S. Mullaney. I love typewriters and languages, so this book was a sure thing as my interests go. And I learned a great deal. Perhaps the greatest takeaway was the degree to which the Chinese language was viewed as inferior (not just outside of China but also within) … more

Apple adds geolocation to improve its global gateway strategy
Apple has redesigned its website many times over the past decade but one thing has remained largely unchanged — its global gateway strategy. Here’s a screen shot of the global gateway menu from back in 2010: And here it is today: But over the past few days Apple did something I’ve been waiting for them … more

Think Outside the Country (now available in Japanese)
I received my copies of the Japanese edition of Think Outside the Country and am very impressed. The book, like the English edition, is in full color and uses high quality paper. The book is published by Born Digital (in collaboration with Mitsue-Links) You can order via Amazon Japan. more

Is your vendor putting your international business in jeopardy?
You hire a vendor to conduct a global survey. And let’s suppose this vendor refers to Taiwan as a country and the email goes out to people in China who believe differently, and they happen to be in a position to punish you by blocking your website within China. This is roughly what happened with … more

The top 25 websites from the 2018 Web Globalization Report Card
I’m excited to announce the publication of The 2018 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. First, here are the top-scoring websites from the report: For regular readers of this blog, you’ll notice that … more

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