Website design for international audiences

Friday, August 31, 2012 10:44 AM

Edmonton web design professionals are well-equipped to work with area organizations, as their knowledge of the local market will inform a design that is suited for local searches. However, corporate web design professionals also need to be aware of certain design aspects when creating a site for international visitors, according to one SEO expert.

Zeph Snapp, in an Outspoken Media guest post, wrote that companies targeting an international audience should alter their site's design to accommodate the needs of visitors from different countries.

One of the major ways in which a site can be seen as inclusive is through language. Snapp said sites should be able to detect the country of origin of a site visitor, and then offer a browsing experience based on the language and dialect spoken there. In addition, he said that professional web design should include a text-based option for people to personally change site language to suit their needs regardless of the country of origin.

A company's website should not stop there, as it should be customisable to reflect dialects and language nuance as well. Snapp wrote that it is not enough to just translate a page, as its wording should reflect how a language is spoken in each country.

"Language is the tool we use most when interacting with the world, and as such is probably the most important part of any website," Snapp wrote. "The best design, the easiest user interface can be negatively influenced if the language is off message. But the complexity of languages across the globe is tough to get exactly right. Planning the tone of the language and deciding how you want to address your site visitors is a huge part of a successful international website."

Altering web design solutions for the right look and feel
Another aspect of good web design that appeals to international audiences is a judicious use of stock photos. According to Snapp, too many stock images, especially those that seek to portray a generic multi-cultural experience, can make it look like the web designers were too lazy to make an effort for international audiences.

When trying to get site visitors from other countries, site administrators should make sure the website is optimised for use on mobile devices. Since smartphones and tablets are usually less expensive than laptops and desktops, an increasing number of people around the world are using mobile devices as their primary means of going online, Snapp wrote.

An IDC report from last year speculated that more people around the world will be accessing the internet from mobile devices than from any other portal by 2015.

Division [1] Web Design is an Edmonton Website, Application and Software firm specializing in design and development since 2002.

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