It’s a story about product teams, translators, and the big chasm between them
If you are working on a localized product, whether you’re a UX writer, product manager, localization manager, or developer, you probably know that it’s often a long, cumbersome process that can sometimes bring down the entire product development velocity.
Currently, many teams find it hard to deliver high-quality translations and deliver them continuously, in a fast pace.
This happens for a few reasons:
First, there’s a big chasm between translators and design. Many translators do not translate with the full design context, whether they can see it only in the live product (which has not been implemented yet) or they do not have any way to do it. The result is inaccurate translations and a lot of back and forth in best case scenarios, as well as incorrect translations in worst cases.
Second, the localization process starts too late. Developers are often responsible for starting the translation process by pushing translation keys along with the new copy in the source language. This means that effective translation can only take place at the development stage.
Third, without a proper tool to manage product copy in the source language, collaboration and handoffs between writers, designers, and translators are much more difficult than they can be.
"Without a proper tool to manage product copy in the source language, collaboration and handoffs between writers, designers, and translators are much more difficult than they can be."
Introducing a design-driven localization process
We're excited to introduce multi-language support that allows seamless integration between the design and localization processes and facilitates a design-driven, continuous end-to-end process.
Similar to UX writers, product translators need to get the full design context and understand the content style guidelines in order to replicate the source language in their language. With Frontitude, they get the same toolset as UX writers, which we believe will make the entire localization process more efficient.
This new addition turns Frontitude into a single system for managing copy across the entire team – both in the source and translated languages – tailored for UX writing.
Let’s get into what benefits this new addition can bring to your process:
Bring translators closer to design
Currently, many teams still use generic tools to manage their product localization process. And while there are better ways to manage localized strings, they're still not an ideal fit for product design workflows. Working with these tools has significant shortcomings due to a lack of up-to-date design context, as well as the ability to write in the design.
As a product design tool, Frontitude facilitates a design-driven localization process. It provides translators with a way to insert translations right into the design, and share the same content management tool with the design team. Content silos are eliminated and communication between the design team and translators is streamlined into a continuous, spreadsheet-free workflow.
Start localization early in the process to shorten the time to market
Currently, for many of our customers, the localization process starts at the development stage. From the time the design is ready, days, and sometimes even weeks can pass before the translators have access to the full design context. This waterfall process reminds us how software development used to be 20+ years ago.
In order to allow a continuous, agile localization process, the translation must begin once copy in the source language is reviewed and finalized, whether it’s a single text element or entire screens or user flows.
By allowing design teams to set translation keys, and storing the designs, translators can start translating early at the design stage! Developers can then implement the copy and translations in the code and start testing translations immediately after the implementation is complete.
Avoid repeated translations with Copy Components
Obviously, you don’t want to translate the same copy every time from scratch. Frontitude allows you to create Copy Components out of repeated copy, translate it once, and keep the translation consistent across all instances. It means that translations are automatically reused, making the localization process faster and more cost-effective!
Start localizing with Frontitude
Given Frontitude’s design tool plugin and web design view, starting to translate your product copy is a simple process that requires just a few quick steps.
If this is your first time using Frontitude, follow these simple steps:
- Sign up to Frontitude.
- Install our design tool plugin for Figma, Sketch, or Adobe XD.
- Connect the relevant frames/artboards with Frontitude. This will upload your copy and designs to Frontitude, making them available for translation.
Once you have the copy and designs on Frontitude, all you need to do is:
- Add your target languages from your Frontitude workspace settings.
- The language dropdown menu will appear at the top of the bar, allowing you to switch between languages to view and insert translations in any of your projects on Frontitude.
- Invite translators from outside your organization to collaborate with you on specific projects for translation, and get started!
To learn more about how to manage an effective localization process using Frontitude, we invite you to read the complete guide in our help section.
Frontitude’s mission is to help teams deliver great written user experience efficiently in every language, driven by the amazing power of the UX writing community. And we're only just getting started!
We plan to release many more features soon to help teams deliver high-quality localized products: Enhanced workflow management, automated developer handoff, integrations with localization tools, testing translations in the design tool, and more!
If you have any suggestions or feature requests, please don’t hesitate to send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!