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Designing for the Global Village

Now that the world has become a global village, reaching any part of the world is just a click away. There are a lot of businesses which think that if they can reach the foreign audience, it will add to their business. And common sense implies the same thing that anything that speaks to an international audience is better than the national level, no matter how famous. And they can easily do so as most of the foreign sites have lesser content than English. In this case, if your website is available in English only, it may be missing on a lot of popularity of your website. Reaching the foreign audience cam very well increase your ranking on Google. There are some techniques and ways you can adopt to make your website accessible to the people of all languages.

Use of Easy Language :

It is a relief if the website is developed in Unicode but if it’s not, then there is some effort that you will have to put in making it Unicode. Unicode mode will make people of all languages to read the website in their own language. The so many different languages in the world have not the same kind of language when translated into another so Unicode serves as a standard for making all the languages into one. If you set your website to UTF-8, it will make your website compatible with no less than 90 languages which is a good enough number. Moreover, all the non-English characters will also be included in it including some depleted one like Persian or Hebrew.

Option for Navigation :

As mentioned earlier, languages when translated into another, doesn’t remain the same. There are some languages, including Hebrew, which reads from right to left. If your website is not set to change the navigation options, it might become useless for anyone wanting to and so you can lose a considerable number of people of different languages wanting to read your website. Here you can use your creativity to set what might be the most attractive navigation settings to the audience.

Dropping Flash and Using HTML :

When you want to make your website multilingual, you also have to keep in mind that your website will also be reached by the people of developing countries who might not have a very fast internet service who can read the website using Flash Reader. In this situation, Flash might not be the best option as it requires a good internet connection if it has to read the page and might not work with a low speed internet connection. And so HTML can come to help in this process which will make it simple to read the page and convert it.

Content Counts for a Good Impression :

You may think that the content of the page does not count a lot for a design website but that is not the case. Content is also very important to make a good impression for the foreign audience. There are software on the internet that can translate any given page f or you but the machine translation might not turn out as effective as the original language and so might lose the meaning in many cases than not. So for one, use manual translation and it should be such that does not give an unprofessional look because of the over use of jargons or too many foreign terms. Second, it should be written in a way which is simple enough for the audience comprising of the whole world and should not be using terminologies that might be culturally correct or okay but not internationally.

Keeping in View the Cultural Differences :

When targeting the whole world, there is not just the difference in language that has to be kept in view but also that there is cultural differences as well and the view of the world from every culture is different. There are some cultures which attract to a website depending on its context and the deliverance while some others pay more attention to the formatting and design aspects. Though a little daunting for a designer, but a little research and some effort will find you a balance between the two and will make your website good for every culture and country. If you are targeting a specific culture, language or country, it gets even easier.

Balance Between Colors :

All things done, there’s comes a question of the colors to be used in the website. Just like the layout of the website, the colors to be used are also to be considered wisely and after doing the proper research. All the colors means different for different cultures, if the color red signifies passion and fierceness for some cultures, it is a saddening color for some others. So the wisest thing to do is use neutral colors, probably something with a lighter base with a darker text. But if your design website is based on colors and stuff, then you can sue any as without it the meaning will not be conveyed.   

Final Thought :

To sum it up, where the advancement in technology and growth has provided so many ways to do business, it has also added more competition. More competition implies that you can get good business if you target an even bigger market than your competitor and that’s where the world turning into a global village comes to help. A design website when developed with the whole world in mind can do wonders for your business. But for making a website easily digestible for all the different kinds of languages and cultures of the world, some special things has to be kept in mind including Unicode, easy translation, comprehensible yet sufficient content and the layout of the website.

About Arfa Mirza

EuroPakistani and Media Studies graduate, Arfa Mirza is a whiz writer and self-taught designer, where creativity is her blood and bones. After successfully co-creating Dzineblog360 and Webblog360, she has launched her sole blog CreatiWittyBlog to claim her share in the virtual realm.

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2 comments

  1. Hi,
    your website to me is very informative and i appreciate all effort you have put into it, indeed it is a professional work you have done

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