Localization Testing

What is Localization Testing And All You Need to Know About It

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Suppose you are a developer and you have devoted years to building your dream app. You have finally developed it and now you have published it out in the wide world. Just when a user is downloading the app, he or she faces a bug and the device crashes. This might be the greatest ordeal for any developer to go through. 

Here is where localization testing comes to the rescue. 

What is Localization Testing?

Localization is a type of software testing that is done to inspect the quality, functions and user experience of an algorithm in a specific locale. It helps to identify and fix the problem that may arise in the application. \

What is Localization Testing
What is Localization Testing

If you are releasing your application in different parts of the world, you will have to run localization tests according to those regions. This will thoroughly ensure that the users will get a smooth bug-free experience while using your application.

Before launching an application, localization testing is a very crucial step. It checks the user interface and gives an idea about how useful the application will be in a particular area. The inspection parameters given are all supposed to align with the local needs of the users. For example, localization testing checks the language, vocabulary, currency format and date and time format of that specific region only. 

What is the Process of Localization Testing? 

To understand this, let us take an example. Picture this. You have developed a grocery delivery app and you want to launch it in Singapore. This region has banned chewing gum completely. So while carrying out localization testing, the first criteria should be that your app will not show or deliver chewing gums to the user. If this bug arises in Singapore, you might land into trouble big time. The point is that testing involves a few steps that should be carried out accordingly to carry out a successful venture. 

Process of Localization Testing
Process of Localization Testing

The steps involved in localization testing are the following. 

Setting up the Environment for Testing-  The environment in which localization testing will take place is very crucial. It is safe to say that the whole process depends on it. One needs to ensure that the quality of the environment in which localization testing will take place has absolutely zero loopholes. This will ensure quality localization testing. 

Choosing a Product or Application to Run the Tests-  After ensuring the quality of the environment, one needs to choose the application or the product to run the localization testing on. This step is easy because the environment for the application is already chosen. 

Generating a Script and a Set of Criteria- No localization testing will move further if there isn’t a set of guidelines and standards according to which the tests will be carried on. One needs to produce a list of criteria keeping the locale in mind. For example, if the app is to be launched in West Bengal, the language preference should be Bengali.

Comparing the App Features with the Local Attributes- When an app is launched in a particular region, it should be kept in mind that there are some attributes and restrictions native to that place. Localization testing is successful when the app features are compared against these attributes and they align almost perfectly.

Analysis and Result- After considering everything, and running all the sub- localization tests, every conclusion has to be analysed again. One should come down to a solid conclusion and finally give the result whether it is successful or not. The other attributes of the app should also be stated. 

Also read: Regression Testing

Advantages of Localization Testing 

Here are some advantages of Localization testing:

  1. Localization reduces the overall testing cost and support cost.
  2. Though it is a bit of a complex process, when done in the early phases, it helps in reducing the time for testing.
  3. It results in high flexibility and scalability. 
  4. It gives a better user experience. 

Disadvantages of Localization Testing

Below are the disadvantages of Localization testing:

  1. Hiring and getting the services of the local linguistic agents of the region can be costly. 
  2. One has to deal with a lot of legal and cultural policies of that region.
  3. The Double-Byte Character Set (DBCS) of that area can vary, which might delay the localization testing process.
  4. Problems may also arise for the tester. 

Localization Testing Life Cycle 

Product Release- The phase of launching the application or product. 

Analysis- Analysing the expectations, background etc., of the product.

Translation- Translating the language preferences according to that region. 

Review- Review the results from the tests. 

Bug- Fixing- Fixing the bugs arising from the tests run previously. 

Integration- Integrating the new changes in the application. 

Also read: Agile Testing

Why is Localization Testing Important in Today’s Time

Localization testing is important because:

Ability to Expand 

Localization testing is scalable. This means that the scope of the app can be expanded. If one prefers early localization testing, more local versions of the app can be developed and can reach the market. This way, more people would be able to access the app. 

Engaging With Customers On a Personal Level

When a platform or user interface caters to your every need in your native language, you tend to prefer it over several other apps. Users tend to connect more with the app, which ensures more brownie points for the app. 

Also read: Functional Testing

What Are The Challenges One Should Expect During Localization Testing? 

Like everything, localization testing also has its loopholes if not carried out 100% correctly. And such a flawless process is rarely possible. There is something or the other that always gets omitted. 

The Target Local is Sometimes Inaccessible: Because of this, it gets very difficult to extract all the information about the target audience and their preferences. To overcome this problem one can try working with local agents and translation companies which have better knowledge about the culture and values of that region as well.

Insufficient knowledge of the localization testing specialists: The testing specialists have very less information about the product field and the purpose of the application. 

Localization testing is time-consuming: It is a slow process of learning about the local area of the target and the customer preferences.

Some people do the localization testing only once and fail to make it a continuous process. Things and preferences keep changing and so should the user interface with time. 

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