Localization Testing: why, when and how?

Organizations, whether small-sized or large-sized are moving towards globalization. The reason, booming global economy is attracting each and every industry to function beyond local boundaries and explore more opportunities to grow and expand at a much faster pace on the global platform. Nevertheless, let’s move to our topic.

While developing a software product, focus is completely made on the incorporation of each and every functionalities and features which may attract users and ensuring large audience for the software i.e., efforts are made in the direction of developing a quality software application that should be readily accepted by the users’ world widely irrespective of geographical locations. This is called globalization of the software product.

Well indeed, localizing your product is a good move and of utmost importance but ensuring its localized feature could not be ignored also. Let’s see why localization of software is required?

Why localization of software is required?

Software needs to be localized to meet the needs and the expectations of the local audience. It might be possible that a software product meeting the needs and expectations of a particular territory, culture, or region is unable to stand on the expectation of users belonging to different culture or region. Thus, only linguistic translation is not sufficient to make software localized as there could be several differences between two cultures, countries, region for each different aspect such as style, conventions, standards, designing, time-zone, font, colour, etc. Users of each different culture, region would have different taste and different perspective and ways to look and use the software product. For making a software product globally recognized, it is preferred to first target the local markets and then go for the global market. Without localization, you cannot go for the globalization of the product.

What is Localization Testing?

Localization testing is one of the testing methodologies provided by the software quality assurance process to ensure that a globalized software product is readily adaptable to a particular locale, culture or region settings and environment.

How to do localization testing?

The localization testing of a software product may comprise following activities:

  • Multiple character support.
  • Evaluating UI feature and issues such as truncated or missing texts or content or inappropriately translated or displayed.
  • Whether language and content specifying and describing the system’s functionalities is with respect to targeted country or location.
  • Conventions, standards and protocols being implemented and used in the system is as per the targeted area or region.
  • Consistency throughout the software documentation with respect to targeted country language and settings.
  • Grammatical mistakes.
  • Time-zone, Date and currency used with respect to targeted country or area.
  • System’s adherence to rules, regulation, laws and agreement of a particular country.
  • Appropriate layout, designing, placing & displaying of images and texts.
  • Consistencies in design, layout and style.
  • Screen resolution w.r.t. targeted device resolution.
  • Proper encoding and decoding of characters.
  • Correct and appropriate translation of the content for a particular country or region.

Conclusion:

Above given is just a few of general activities that may be carried out during localization testing of a system. However, the activities and scope of localization testing may vary by the testing team depending on the needs and requirements.

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