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Global by Design

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

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

Web localization is a black and white issue
The death of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej has led to stores running out of black and white clothing as the population mourns its leader in color-appropriate clothing. What does this mean for website localization? Consider the Thailand home pages for Apple: Samsung: Microsoft: McDonald’s: Starbucks: And Coca-Cola has gone black on its social feeds: Web … more

WordPress reaches 50 languages as it expands into India
This blog began more than a decade ago when WordPress was available in English only. WordPress is now available, fully translated, in 50 languages, in impressive achievement. Polyglots Team Experiences Record Annual Growth, Expands WordPress’ Reach to Millions with New Translations One of the latest languages to be added is Gujarati, an Indian languages spoken … more

Are you celebrating India’s festival season? Amazon sure is
Flipkart has long been the dominant ecommerce retailer in India, but Amazon is no longer content to remain in second place. Amazon launched its Great Indian Festival promotion this week with free prizes including a number of cars, even a free home. Just a day in, Amazon claims record sales and one billion hits, which doesn’t really mean anything, but … more

Nike improves its global gateway
Nike made an important improvement to its global gateway over the past year that I want to draw your attention to. First, let’s take a look at the home page, circa 2015: If you look closely at the bottom of the web page, to the left, you’ll see the American flag — the link to … more

Country Codes of the World in white
  I want to thank internet researcher Anat Ben-David for sharing this photo of her office wall. I’ve usually seen our Country Codes of the World print framed in black but I think white looks better! PS: The Country Codes print is currently on sale until Friday. more

Deloitte: The best global professional services website of 2016
For the 2016 Web Globalization Report Card, we studied five professional services websites: Accenture Capgemini Deloitte Ernst & Young KPMG PWC This is the first year in some time that none of the professional services websites made it into the top 25. This is largely due to the fact that these sites offer poor or uneven … more or
In a development that few people will notice but is interesting to us domain geeks, Apple is in the process of retiring its domain in favor of The .news domain is a top-level domain, much like .biz or .guru. You can register yours here. Apple is not going to shed light on why it is … more

Car companies embrace global automotive platforms but resist global website platforms
Here is Subaru’s new global automotive platform: Toyota also has a global platform, shown here: I’ve long made the case that a global auto platform is analogous to a global website or software platform. You want a design that can be adapted to many different countries, and many different cultures and demographics within those countries. And as … more

Canon launches .canon along with improved global web design
Canon recently launched its generic top-level domain (gTLD) .canon at In doing so, the company plans to migrate away from to .canon, presumably with different divisions and/or geographies occupying subdomains. The company writes: Until now, the URL we used for Canon’s global website was “” From now on, however, we will begin gradually introducing “” … more

The one “flag” you should never use on your website
I visited the home page of the Chinese online travel agency website Ctrip recently and came across this odd flag: Just because the UK  voted to separate from the EU doesn’t mean that it’s considering a merger with the United States (the last I checked). Seriously, I understand why companies use this hybrid flag—as an all-purpose English … more

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