MotionPoint, the world leader in Website Language Management (WLM), today debuted its company website (www.MotionPoint.com) in 10 translated languages, including Spanish, Japanese and Arabic. Website visitors are now greeted by an intuitive menu system that automatically slides into the browser window from the top of the webpage when each site visit (also called a “session”) begins. This menu features a language selector; when a user chooses his or her preferred language, the website experience seamlessly “switches” to that language.
This innovative approach is one of several quality website translation “best practices” showcased at MotionPoint’s site. The sliding Language Chooser—and its design, which features an iconographic image of Earth—is the product of the South Florida company’s extensive internal research and industry expertise.
This language selection solution is more user-centric than other international websites’ approaches. The Language Chooser provides the name of the language in that language. “Spanish” is represented by the word “Español,” for instance; “French” by “Français” and so on. This feature is essential for users whose language of choice is not English—the “in-language” selector intuitively directs them to their preferred language.
Further, this selector avoids a common pitfall of other systems, which rely on icons of country flags to denote language choice. On these sites, a flag of Spain may be used to represent the Spanish language. But this system requires users to know the appearance of the Spanish flag. It also indirectly excludes—and may insult—residents of other countries who speak that language. In addition, MotionPoint’s research indicates that some international users associate “flag icons” with websites processed by “machine translation,” an industry term referring to less-accurate automated software translation. (MotionPoint’s WLM-powered service features human translations.)
The Language Chooser is also given considerable real estate on MotionPoint’s web pages, when it slides into view. This design hails directly from MotionPoint’s usability studies and research in the WLM space. By prominently displaying the Language Chooser for several seconds in the browser, MotionPoint’s visitors are given ample time to select their language, and are shown that the in-language Web experience is a priority for the site’s creators. The opportunity for a positive brand connection and experience is squandered, if there is no Web experience in that user’s language.
The design of the language selector appearing inside the site’s main browser was also deliberate. Unlike many multi-lingual websites, which provide international users with a “pop-up” browser window for language selection, this system is seamlessly integrated into an uninterrupted user experience. Pop-up blocker software will never prevent an international user’s access to MotionPoint’s 10 WLM-powered sites. Further, users are not forced to scroll through a cumbersome series of “drop down” menus, which can be frustrating and time-consuming.
Another noteworthy feature of the Language Chooser is its in-language “memory.” Visitors select their preferred language once per session to the MotionPoint site. The Language Chooser slides back to the top of the screen, always available—but does not slide down again for the remainder of the session. It “understands” that the user has made his or her selection, yet remains unobtrusively accessible at any time.
The company’s new Language Chooser is also wedded to MotionPoint’s home page Flash animation, which features in-language text and graphics. The Flash animation does not activate until the Language Chooser has “slid” into the top frame of the browser window—providing an aesthetically-pleasing user experience. The language selector also “talks” to the user’s Web browser, which communicates to the Flash file via dynamic data. It instructs the file to showcase the appropriate in-language animation.
This Flash animation is also an example of a WLM best practice: the Flash files display quickly, thanks to the dynamically-loading “under the hood” data that streams from Language Chooser, to browser, to Flash. The use of animation “chaptering” within the Flash files also reduced file size, and load time—a key for international markets with slower internet connections.
With the unveiling of this Language Chooser, MotionPoint’s multi-lingual website now features a Best In Class navigation system for WLM-powered sites. MotionPoint’s current clients—and clients-to-be—can look to its site for not just inspiration on how to reach 90 percent of the world’s markets with the addition of nine languages, but also how to intuitively connect with those new markets.
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