How to localize fast without compromising quality: by the experts

5 things I learned from "the alignment" episode 3 

Episode Three of the alignment was about speed, scale, and quality – meaning that I was very lucky to have a ringside seat for some incredible localization experts debating how to increase localization speed and scale without compromising quality. 

Our experts included: 

Abbie Sparks, Senior CS Success Manager at Global App Testing

Daphne Chou, Head of Localization Operations at Riot Games

Nora Duong, Localization Program Manager at Tesla

Robert Bauch, Product Program Manager @ HubSpot 

Fei Liu, Head of Content Localization at RS

Sara Baslie, Product Director at XTM

If you want to watch the next episode, you can do so below. 



1. Speed and quality aren’t at loggerheads. They’re sometimes the same thing

“When I say quality, I am referring to making products successful and not just available”, argued Abbie, CS Manager at Global App Testing.

Abbie talked about the way that an agile and iterative approach is creeping into localization product development. Instead of a six month investigative project, Abbie argued, you can look into rapid-turnaround UX surveys to get a sense of what local users think of your application or design in 48 hours. In the long-term, this leads to higher quality software anyway. 

(If you are interested, yes – both of these are available through Global App Testing.) 

2. You don't (always) need translation QA

How many of you have been asked whether it’s machine or human translation? Fei, the Head of Content Localization at RS, translates 65 million words a year so has to be razor-focused on how to manage translation efficiently. 

Fei argued that there is not enough focus on outcome. Excessive process can distract us from our goals, and it’s useful to remind yourself of what the project is supposed to achieve. Instead, let’s ask a more fundamental question: “what’s important to your customers?” That’s one way to focus your localization efforts more efficiently.

3. "Alignment" is absolutely vital to localization

In “The Alignment”, Robert, Product Program Manager at HubSpot,  argued that one way to reduce time waste was the webinar’s namesake. At HubSpot, teams had different needs and by listening carefully to the goals and incentives of all the teams, they were able to split marketing and product production streams, saving everybody time and helping the business go faster. 

Later, Robert went on to say that thinking carefully about workstreams had been the biggest low hanging fruit of process improvement for HubSpot.

4. Combine human and machine efforts in your content 

At least one of our panellists has started rolling out machine translation in a large scale to achieve the scale that their business requires. 

But there is also an opportunity for intelligent content to help route the right content to the right user. That's part of what Nora, the Senior Localization Program Manager at Tesla, advocated for and used to help Tesla clients achieve success via their content. 

"If we can use our content in a smart way, and combine mchine and human capabilities, that will save us lots of time and money" argued Nora

5. Intercept your product process earlier 

"To scale, localization has to be considered a central team to the business group rather than just a decentralized team from different groups" argued Nora. 

"Help teams understand why we need to create localization-ready content," argued Daphne. "The more we prioritize it upstream with our stakeholders, it makes significant [savings] in terms of efficiency and effectiveness of localisation later on down the stream.