What makes a website and webpage great? Well, it’s surely its ability to attract people from all the corners of the world. But it’s important to clearly understand that just accessibility of your website to the global audiences won’t make a job on its own. People who would come to your site won’t necessarily understand your website and not only because of language barriers. Let’s talk about it more specifically. From time to time issues may arise and your website can be incomprehensible for people who speak the same language but from a different country.
Consider the language of your website. Most of websites are written in the English language but it doesn’t necessarily mean that a person from the USA will easily understand Australian English, for example. Herein, I’d strongly recommend to omit the usage of slang or at least to minimize it to the minimum.
Those people who use English as their second language or use translation tools, should be the most accurate. The words that you use in the content should not be country specific. One and the same word can have two different meanings depending on whether you’re from the US or UK. Therefore, the use of the word, out of context, may be quite confusing from a consumer’s point of view.
When talking about international audiences, I’d also emphasis on the fact that it’s not only the language which is country specific. Measurements also differ. Talking about the USA, people use pounds and inches whereas in many other countries the measurements that are used are metric. To avoid all misunderstanding and confusions it’s a good idea to include a conversion calculator on a site or at least a link that would lead to the one. The same about prices. You may think that it’s clear what currency is used on a website and yet, it’s better to explain. New Zealand, Canadian, US and Australian dollars aren’t the same, therefore, inform your customers about the currency so that they don’t get a shock when they are billed.
Check out the colors you use. Colors may greatly influence human emotions and have hugely strong cultural connotations. Let’s draw an example here. Red color is known to be a color associated with happiness, wealth and bright emotions in China and most of the European countries, whereas in Egypt, for example, red color is associated with the death. Hence, maybe it’s a better idea to go for something more neutral as a background and darker typography to focus consumers’ attention on the key elements of the site.
Some other cultural sensitivities may engender various responses. The well-known thumb-up sign that’s usually considered to be a very positive symbol in most of countries may be taken as an offensive sign in some parts of Africa, South America and the Middle East.