A seamless user experience is a key factor in an efficient localization program. Here are some of the most prominent user-friendly features that make a translation management system (TMS) easy to use.
According to a study by Forrester in 2017, a well-designed UI improves task-completion rates by 200% and reduces user errors by 50% compared to poorly designed interfaces. With a good UI in a TMS, you will be able to monitor all your localization projects at a glance, and easily view the projects and tasks that require your attention using simple filtering like due dates or project status.
When a TMS’s UI design is not user-friendly or poorly designed, this will have a direct impact on its users’ productivity, as they will not only struggle to navigate but also to perform tasks in the same time it would take with a UI that’s intuitive and that they can familiarize themselves with quickly. Decreased productivity and higher error rates with added increased frustration can put a strain on localized content quality, which will inevitably lead to delays in project completion and potential loss of business opportunities.
A user-friendly TMS is one that is intuitive and easy to use for translators and everyone else involved in the project, regardless of their technical knowledge or level of expertise with similar tools. Some of the features that make it easy to use for translators include:
- Onboarding documentation and technical support from the provider.
- Knowledge Base with FAQs, troubleshooting and how-to articles to consult when needed.
- Tooltips to help users understand the different tools and processes.
- Pop-ups in the UI to guide you through new features as they get released.
Being able to customize and configure a TMS to your needs and experience is a vital part of its user-friendliness. Typical TMS features that can be customized include:
For more information on TMS customization, click here.
A localization ecosystem involves multiple users, from linguists to project managers; from legal reviewers to UX designers, who need to collaborate on the same platform. A TMS with collaboration features such as real-time communication tools, automatic notifications, slick automated workflows, and the ability to add linguists as project collaborators increase overall productivity and decrease the risk of error due to miscommunication or lack of information.
For instance, being able to have a group chat within the tool with everyone involved in the project can ensure information is shared efficiently and queries can be formulated and answered directly for everyone to see without risking them getting lost in emails. If the Dutch translator has a query, they can submit it on the TMS and it will be visible for all other translators to see, including the eventual answer. Without this tool, other translators may have had the same query, and this way the project manager only has to answer it once as opposed to individually to all translators who asked.
Being able to connect the TMS to a content-authoring tool like a CMS and managing the whole localization process from it has become a basic need. Not only does this integration reduce the number of manual tasks and subsequent delays, but it also means that localization managers do not have to learn the UI of another tool and can complete their tasks in an environment they are familiar with.
For example, a localization manager can start a translation project for their marketing department directly from HubSpot. From there, they select the files that are to be translated and the languages they want them in and send them to the TMS via the integration. Once completed, the files are automatically imported back into HubSpot via the integration, and as soon as they have been reviewed, all the localization manager has to do is press ‘Publish.’ This also means that localization managers do not have to learn a whole new tool (the TMS) and can manage everything from the one they’re familiar with (HubSpot).
User-friendliness is a highly subjective term, and what may be user-friendly for some might not be for the rest. For this reason, if you’re considering deploying a translation management system, list the user-friendly features that you value the most and ensure that your TMS provider can offer them to you; a demo should answer those questions for you. If you have specific use cases, it will be worth getting in touch with the provider to answer your questions. You can also check out reviews and user feedback on specialized peer-to-peer software-review websites like G2, Capterra, or SourceForge, to ensure that the TMS meets your user-friendliness requirements.
Is the UI intuitive enough for your users?
Does it come with the how-to-use tools and documentation that you will need?
Does it offer a high level of customization for your specific requirements?
Does it include real-time collaboration tools for all your suppliers and localization stakeholders?
Does it integrate with your existing software platforms?
Can it connect with the MT systems and language-technology platforms that you will need to use?
Is it a vendor-neutral tool that will give you the option of granting access to any supplier you choose?