Localization testing is a quality verification process aiming to ensure that a specific product build, such as a web or mobile app, is adapted well enough to be used in a certain region. It helps detect errors or bugs and is carried out only for one target language or region at a time.
How does localization testing work?
Localization testing checks a set of features that help to verify that the localized product is fit for the target market. The process is carried out by an expert native speaker for the specific region to make sure that the entire content adheres to local standards.
These are the main features checked in localization testing:
- User interface (UI) in its localized version,
- Content in its localized version,
- Critical business scenarios for the region,
- Language specific to the region,
- Compatibility of software with the hardware used in the region.
The testing of these features includes a specific process consisting of a subset of steps that ease the testing process. These steps help to create a routine for localization testing which can be used for each future localization testing and allows for automatization of the process.
These steps follow a logical approach and can be considered best-practice scenarios:
- Set up a test environment,
- Generate a script for the relevant region,
- Compare the source and target script,
- Analyze the testing results,
- Present the results for the region in question.
After localization testing, product managers and developers will know whether or not their product-related software, applications, user interfaces, content, etc. are ready to be launched. It will show any errors and bugs that need fixing and give a real view of the final usability.
Why is localization testing important?
Localization testing is key to the successful launch of a product in a new market. It can prevent issues with future customers and reduce churn rates by ensuring that the quality of the product and its related content is up to standard for the specific region.
It is a tool for quality assessment and reassurance at the same time. If the testing goes well, only minor fixes will be necessary, and the product will be ready for launch in a target market.
Should the testing reveal major issues in usability, comprehensibility, and readability, product owners can immediately revert to developers and translators to request the necessary adjustment and fixes.
This means that even though localization testing can cause additional cost and time for fixes, it ultimately prevents higher expenses in overhead due to the prevention of bigger problems. It is a tool for risk minimization and supports the successful launch in new regions.
Why should product owners not skip localization testing?
Any product owner hopes for a successful launch, high consumer interest, and wide adoption of the product. In order to achieve that, there are quality assurance processes available. Localization testing is one of those.
It allows a product manager to verify that product-related software, applications, user interfaces, and content are fit for the target market. Localization testing provides a realistic predictor of launch dates and additional overhead costs.
Additionally, this testing method helps reduce support costs, since potential bugs or other problems are prevented and thus will not require additional development and support. It gives a reliable analysis of product readiness for the target region.
Should further action be required, localization testing will allow for planning and adjusting timeframes and other important factors based on the results. With this testing method product owners are on the safe side with minimized risks.