The Art of the Global Gateway
Strategies for Successful Multilingual Navigation
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You don't get a second chance to make a first impression
A global gateway is the initial point of contact between your website and the world — it is, in effect, a web user’s first impression. To truly welcome visitors to your web site, you’ll need a welcoming global gateway.
As noted in The 2012 Web Globalization Report Card, the average number of languages supported by the leading global brands is now 32.
While web globalization opens your website to the world, it also opens you up to a number of new challenges, namely how to ensure that visitors, no matter what language they speak, can find their local content. This is why the global gateway is so important. Well executed, the global gateway functions like a multilingual tour guide, helping people find exactly where they need to go.
Who this book is for
This book is for web designers, copywriters, marketers, localization vendors, project managers, and developers. In other words, this book is for those who create websites and applications and those who take them global.
Increase traffic to your country websites by 20% (or more)
Many companies are finding that more than half of the visitors to their global websites comes from outside their home markets. This book will help you direct more web users to local content, resulting in increased traffic, leads, and sales. Whether your company offers 5 localized websites or 100, this book will provide the information you need.
The techniques and recommendations in this book are the result of more than a decade spent studying the process of directing web users to local content. Author John Yunker has interviewed hundreds of executives and shares firsthand what strategies work and what strategies don't.
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Global gateways included
Drawing on a wide range of real-world websites, this book highlights global gateways from the following companies:
- Bank of America
- Best Buy
- Emirates Airlines
- ESPN Deportes
- H&R Block
- State Farm Insurance
Table of Contents
Welcome, Benvenuti, Bienvenidos…
- About this book
First Things First
- One Internet; many languages
Elements of Global Navigation
- Country codes: Local “front doors”
- The global gateway: What users see
- The splash global gateway
- The permanent global gateway
- Global gateway icons
- The language/country menu
- Mapping the global gateway
- Language Negotiation
- Web Browsers and Language Settings
- Geolocation: We know where you live
Global Gateway Best Practices
- Translate the gateway, but don’t overtranslate
- Wave flags with caution
- Be careful what you call “country”
- Pull-down menus don’t scale
- Don’t play favorites (or favourites)
- Icons speak louder than words
- Use as little text as necessary
- Use the “sweet spot”
- Use Unicode
- Place usability ahead of creativity
- Don’t pretend you speak languages that you don’t
- Global gateways shouldn’t make you think
- Keep legalese to a minimum
- Embedded text is untranslated text
- Don’t put age before language
Global Gateways Profiles
Spanish-Language Gateways for the US
- What’s the URL?
- Spanish-language gateways
Trending Now: Mobile Devices and Social Media
- The global gateway and mobile devices
- The global gateway and social media
Developing a Global Gateway Strategy
- Of big steps and baby steps
- Case Study: The growth of a global gateway
- Global gateway FAQ
- Global gateway checklist
About the Author
Byte Level co-founder John Yunker pioneered global gateway best practices and has spent the past decade helping hundreds of companies improve their multilingual navigation and usability.
John is author of the best-selling report The Web Globalization Report Card. In 2002, he authored the first book devoted to the emerging field of web globalization, Beyond Borders: Web Globalization Strategies.