Designing a Global Friendly Website

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. It’s true in business and for their brands. Organizations are judged on how they present themselves through their website and it is where people start to learn all about a company’s brand and impressions are formed quickly. Organizations need to present the best version of themselves through their mission statement, marketing, messaging and website.

There is so much pressure on companies to deliver compelling content and a site that is clean, simple and engage the web user whether in the US or Globally. U.S. or international sites muddled with so many messages and a blank form that appears on your screen asking you to sign up for their newsletter is beyond annoying.

It All Begins With A Google Search

We’ve all been there; we are searching in Google to find that perfect smart speaker, pajamas, kids’ toy, beauty or personal care product, boots, jacket, kitchen gadget, or the newest technology. You click on the link in Google and low and behold the site appears. Your excitement is immediately crushed and your eyes are diverted as you realize you’ve clicked on a bad website.

As you try to navigate the hideous website, you can’t find what you’re looking for or where you landed for that matter. You stumbled onto a site with poor website design with no call to action and a home page that is cluttered, busy images and too many colors splashed onto the page.

You thought you were going to find an amazing site but realized the site is awful on so many levels. You begin to get aggravated as you can’t find anything and it’s a website from hell.

Websites should have a level of familiarity and a brand you trust. Well-liked online retail companies have brand recognition, web navigation comfort, strong calls to action, purposeful page and minimalism, and color consistency. Strong encryption; security assurances, superior privacy policy, and return guarantee add to website attractiveness.

Nearshore IT Services

From ongoing staffing needs to a rich, 24/7 onsite/nearshore model, our Data Science premium support teams are tailored specifically to meet your needs. Hire an IT resource that’s relatively within the same time zone, cost-effective and easier to access than most offshore services.

Since we’re highly proficient Data Mining and Big Data specialists, our Nearshore team can extract the critical knowledge and insights you need from your structured and unstructured data.

Nearshore IT Services

From ongoing staffing needs to a rich, 24/7 onsite/nearshore model, our Data Science premium support teams are tailored specifically to meet your needs. Hire an IT resource that’s relatively within the same time zone, cost-effective and easier to access than most offshore services.

Since we’re highly proficient Data Mining and Big Data specialists, our Nearshore team can extract the critical knowledge and insights you need from your structured and unstructured data.


Best Practices for Designing a Global Website

  1. Domain Name / URL: Assign separate country domain name for the global market (Mexico, India, China) – Helps Google locate domain in the search results. Native customers feel a connection and are at ease in their domain but also their language.
  2. Chose a Web Hosting Company – In the country of your target foreign market: Shop around to get the best deal but the cheapest is not always best. Find out if your host company has a back-up and disaster recovery. Make sure the host company is available 24/7 for assistance.
  3. Submit your Site to Search Engines – Uploading sitemap of all important factors of your website to Google Webmaster. Visibility will be increased and keywords will be picked up. Online traffic will be associated with target markets. Google, Bing, and Yahoo are the top search engines.
  4. Global Web Users will make mistakes or errors – Incorporate into the design ways users can undo actions and find ways that the user can provide feedback.
  5. Be Sensitive when Using Animals, Symbols – Pigs are considered dirty in other countries, bats are considered a sign of happiness in Chinese, Bear is a symbol of courage and strength, Bird is joy, wisdom, and intelligence. The bull symbolizes fertility and Butterfly symbolizes life, Cat is love but bad luck in Japan. Do your research and don’t assume anything, ask questions and research.
  6. Content and Color – Optimize content for foreign consumers and make sure content means the same in that country and reflect multiple languages. Choose one color that is widely used in that country and arrange thoughtfully. Images should have zero text or reduced text on the image.
  7. Add Localized Checkout Process Optimize for local searches and check website loading time, speed for slower connections since other countries have reduced speed issues. The site should cover the ability to change to another language.
  8. Test, Test and Test some more – Find locals that are willing to participate in website testing to see if you’re on target and won’t offend anyone.
  9. Add Multiple Payment Options – Consumers should be able to convert the payment into their currency and pick an API tool for currency conversions.
  10. Consult with Local SEO Experts – Metadata, keywords, the local language, slang, and local images, words and cultural and religious ideas will be easier with a local expert. Local experts need to know the language, country uniqueness, holidays will be able to provide a higher ranking.
  11. Monitor global traffic using Google Analytics Geo Reports – Provides basic information on your audience (web visitors) language and geographic location. The report breaks down key stats and its related to the language and geographic location of your website visitors.
  12. Define a canonical page for similar or duplicate pages Consolidate duplicate URLs. Google help explains it in this way – When Googlebot indexes a site, it tries to determine the primary content of each page.
  • If Googlebot finds multiple pages on the same site that seem to be the same, it chooses the page that it thinks is the most complete and useful, and marks it as canonical.
  • The canonical page will be crawled most regularly; duplicates are crawled less frequently in order to reduce Google crawling load on your site.

Mistakes in Web Design – US or International

  • Poor animation or confusing messing
  • Walls of text, fixed font size, keywords forced into the copy in bio or about page
  • Pop up advertisements, banners flashing text, misspelled words, too big company logo
  • Not changing the color of visited links, cluttered home page
  • PDF files for online reading and low-quality images
  • Not optimized for mobile and excessive links, lacks in latest web advances
  • Bad search and page titles with low search engine visibility
  • Poor loading speed and missing social icons on the website

Web Design Standards – US or International

  • Incorporated into a website – Call to action, press releases, brand consistency, and mobile-friendly. Consumers feel at ease and confident when they are constantly informed. Logical navigation.
  • Knowing they are protected by the company they are visiting when extra steps are taken such as website security certificates that show a website can be trusted. Lots of white space
  • Encourage two-way communication and provide valuable short, crisp content. Add Contact Us.
  • Super fast website loading and bring depth and clarity. Well structured SEO and clean designs.
  • Add a more diverse representation of the web with images of customers from around the world.
  • Host live events and trustworthy links and add social icons to the website and include blogs.
  • Conduct market research and explore, examine, analyze and collect local/international consumer and competitor data. Build quantitative research and make recommendations based on findings.

Poor Website Experience

A badly designed website whether building for US customers or the global market can kill any chance of that consumer ever coming back to your site.

  • A website with too many colors will make your head spin, annoy the consumer and the web user will lose interest in your site.
  • White text on a light background or a color palette too bright is distracting.
  • The overall layout and typography are disjointed, lacking consistency and continuity.
  • The site is disorganized with design elements that don’t make sense.
  • Text that is hard to read on your mobile phone can ruin a company’s reputation and brand.

Good UI Design

Creates aesthetic and a minimalistic design where the user (US or Global) has full control and freedom to move around the site with flexibility and understands the layout and messaging.

  • Buttons are clearly marked and information is presented in a logical way that users can relate to their real-world experiences.
  • The site should be easily recognizable and the user is comfortable navigating, which is a good UI design. It’s the look and feel and how the user will interface and creates the visual and aesthetically enjoyable experience. Creates the right mix of font size and displays information and resolutions across all devices and App icon dimensions.
  • Some examples include full-screen background images that emotionally connect with the user and adding easily recognizable landmarks and cultural images for a feeling of connection.
  • UI Designers can create two layers of simultaneously moving slides of photos or text together for image-filled typography and build in intuitive navigation since images improve accessibility.

Good UX Design

Focus on creating a logical flow of content and each page communicates clearly and a site look that every user can relate to, no matter where they reside. Web functionality, usability, user experience, and conduct user research, write copy and ease of use and spacing of the website.

  • UX Designers incorporate typography, icons, and animation in addition to the cultural context, multi-cultural relevance and a global design that not only the US can understand but the global audience with relatable imagery.
  • Button actions, labeling and positions, style and color and call to action buttons and allow a user to go back or click Next or Submit buttons and create text links.
  • They design an easy ADD to Cart Button and find unique ways to engage the web user and create an interactive design from moving logos to flashy apps with have humor and fun elements. Even the hover over or off with a mouse is done by the UX designer and use consistency and structure.
  • Trends in UX design incorporate voice technology, motion action-filled design, storytelling with a memorable back story and device-agnostic so the user can pick where they left off a few days later, for a frictionless, pain-free experience.
  • UX designer is involved in A/B testing and split testing, accessible design, an adaptive interface for devices and adding affordance clues that tell the user what to do whether to push or click or pull.

In a 2018 report by Byte Level Research on Web Globalization – a website can communicate with 95% of the world’s internet users by adding to the site more than 47 languages. That’s powerful.

Keep Moving Forward with Aptude

Aptude is your own personal IT professional services firm. We provide our clients with first class resources in a continuous, cost-containment fashion.

Our support services will free up your senior IT staff from the overwhelming burden of day-to-day maintenance issues. Now they’ll have time to launch those new projects and applications you’ve been waiting for. Simply put, we can free up your resources and contain your costs. Let’s have a quick chat to discuss our exclusive services.

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Logistical Distinctions for Building a Global Website

  • Time Zone
  • Local Content and the Local Meaning of Images and Pictures
  • Measurements
  • Local laws and policies
  • Address, telephone numbers, holidays
  • Currency
  • Logistics, Marketing, and Promotions
  • Local search engines
  • Metaphors need to be top of mind
  • Columns should not have loads of text
  • Consistent Text and Terminology

UI Strategies

Are focused on branding, visual appeal and employ a user-centered design that is cohesive, color consistency and clean website flow that is pleasing to the web user.

Placement and size matters and branding should be easily identifiable with headers that include important elements. Splash screens, welcome screen and adding a wow factor. Preload and pull-to-refresh indictors on-site or app.

Minimum Viable Product refers to a set of minimal features – where a site can be launched. It helps to release a site fast and collect valuable user feedback based on real information based on current web users. This strategy helps in building an accurate persona of the target audience.

UX Strategies

Are focused on navigation, visual data structures, cultural values, text development, and understanding a country’s local images, the meaning of color and creating flawless web experience by adding mental model which is product functionality on what the user believes to be factual and correct about a product.

Responsive intelligence is a single layout that shrinks and stretches and rearranges the content for easy viewing.

Key Stages of Process Foundation – International and U.S. Laws

  • Planning for Conformity, Compliance & Regulatory Issues
  • Foreign Language Translation
  • Understand the entire body of text (phrases, italics, underlined text, bold) Translator has native-language knowledge and target audience knowledge.
  • Avoid the use of slang and the list should be developed of high-frequency words.
  • Avoid long strings of sentences. Keep sentence structure as simple as possible.
  • Count every bullet, paragraph, and format structure against the original version.
  • Understand English words (some words are spelled differently in other countries, such as Canada)
  • Gather Local and Global Competition
  • Build Infrastructure and Architecture
  • Build Usability and Accessibility

Emerging Global Markets

  1. China
  2. India
  3. Russia
  4. Brazil
  5. Mexico

80% of the world’s economy is comprised of emerging markets. China and India have a positive influence on the world economy and a combined economic worth of more than $32.6 trillion. India is the world’s fastest-growing major economy.

Things to Think About

Whether designing a website for US customers or an international site for the global market, some basic best practices apply for both. Website color combination with a color scheme like gold/maroon, red/purple, green/black and neon colors should be used with caution or probably never used at all.

This is where good UX and UI designers come into play. If a company is going to make a positive impression and connect with global audiences, communicating correctly is essential.

  • Chatbot, Flat Design, Interaction Design, Eye Tracking, Flowcharts, Gamification, Grid System tools and Clickstream (a series of clicks) are just some creative ways to add intelligence into your site.
  • Adding landing pages that are a part of the marketing campaign like a download, registration, purchase or single action.
  • The design thinking process empathizes with the user about their feelings, behavior, and attitudes, helps to define the users’ problem, builds a potential solution with a prototype and tests the final design.
  • Translating is simply not enough and ignoring small differences like holidays, currency, and even how words are spelled or the direction of how some countries read are extremely important factors.

Optimize Website for Localization

A complex process called localization, and localizing content will help organizations connect and win over the international markets and build trust in their brand. Building a professional, aesthetically pleasing site can be a challenge when creating content for global audiences, sometimes can hinder a UX team’s performance when adding ethnic diversity into the site.

  • Website localization needs to happen in the beginning phases of the build of your website.
  • Trying to do localization at a later date, and after the website is launched is difficult.
  • Helps to bring in more sales and profit by translating text, content, foreign language into the local or region of foreign markets by using Google Global Market Finder, Google Translate and Google
  • Cultural trends for relevant global keywords in other languages and add the translation.
  • Localizing helps to target your audience and improves SEO with more site accessibility.
  • It’s a process for converting foreign currency, measurement units, unique URL and helps to boost rankings.
  • The advantages are significant and help to adjust graphics, modifying images and pictures suitable for international cultures.
  • Products, services, text are appropriately modified to look and feel like the country.
  • Translating idioms, content and layout will be tweaked and will appear less American or less English-looking to the global market user.

Global Websites have unique challenges from country extensions, multi-currency and adding foreign domains need to be top of mind in the design process. Did you know that 70% of the world population does not speak English?

Top websites with the highest monthly traffic – we can all learn from these companies. Google has a 90% market share in 2020.

  1. Google – 60.49 billion monthly visitors (Country – US)
  2. Facebook – 19.98 billion monthly visitors (Country – US)
  3. YouTube – 24.31 billion monthly visitors (Country – US)

36% of on traffic in the Arts and Entertainment category

  1. Amazon – 306 million people visit Amazon each month (Country – US)

51.24% Market traffic in the shopping category

  1. Yahoo – 3.74 billion monthly visitors (Country – US)
  2. com – 9.77 billion monthly visitors (Country – China)

Contact us Today

Aptude is your own personal IT professional services firm. We provide our clients with first class resources in a continuous, cost-containment fashion.

Our support services will free up your senior IT staff from the overwhelming burden of day-to-day maintenance issues. Now they’ll have time to launch those new projects and applications you’ve been waiting for. Simply put, we can free up your resources and contain your costs. Let’s have a quick chat to discuss our exclusive services.

Did You Know?

People are easily annoyed and want a website that is easy and simple with a writing style they can understand and connect with them on culture and the local people. Companies want their website to reach the masses.

  • Companies need to be sensitive to various customs, a countries way of life, ethnicity, beliefs, and understanding social structure and social order is paramount.
  • Norms, values, institutions, and global ideas and patterns are vital and should be incorporated into the web design structure as companies need to research at a granular level.
  • Web content needs to be emotionally expressive and engage the reader by satisfying their immediate needs, wants and aspirations on a deeper level with a good layout, content and local images. Many web users randomly skip and scan pages as online consumer behavior needs to establish relevance and authority.
  • Home pages are a jumping-off point that sets the tone, message and brand and a design that has intuitive navigation.

Top Countries with the Highest Number of Internet Users

  1. China – 854,000,000
  2. India – 560,000,000
  3. United States – 292,892,868
  4. Indonesia – 171,260,000
  5. Brazil – 149,057,635
  6. Nigeria – 123,486,615
  7. Japan – 118,626,672
  8. Russia – 116,353,942
  9. Bangladesh – 96,199,00
  10. Mexico – 88,000,000

The Takeaway

When designing a global website with a user interface that is culturally friendly, useful and findable and on a worldwide scale, it can be a daunting task. It has to meet the various foreign languages, international currency, legal provisions, time zone, culture, text, graphics, visual design, and colors that are familiar to the international web user.

How to incorporate an empathetic approach

A website design needs to pay attention to the user’s needs and that is sensitive to cultural differences is key to a successful site. Do research from actual users instead of a Google search, create a design persona of the user’s goal, current behavior, and preferences. Create a scenario map and sitemap with user insights and build a user flow.

Questions to Ask

  • What are globalization and localization?
  • How does it affect your website design strategy?
  • How does a company build navigation that the global market can relate to?
  • How does the global audience learn?
  • What do they have access to?
  • Is technology part of their lifestyle?

Creating and launching a multilingual website

Meets various global markets, touchpoints and a design empathetic approach that different types of users from other countries can relate are just a few strategies. A designer increases a connection with the global audience by studying what the native people do in a certain country, by visiting the local restaurants and coffee shops can help enormously.

  • Objectively analyzing personal insights of locals and how they perform tasks and live in their community.
  • Discovery, connection, immersion, sensitivity through visiting the towns and immersing yourself in their culture.
  • Connecting and finding ways to associate with people’s real-world life and their experiences is the secret to the design process.
  • The region, beliefs, emotions around life, ideas on politics, and what makes the user tick are all elements of empathy.

Global Website Considerations

Whether building a global site or a US site, both need to be mobile-friendly, load quickly and easy navigation is essential for optimized user experience.

Select a Domain Name, purchase and register a country-code top-level extension

  • 2 character extension & country-specific extension –
  • .ca is for Canadian customers, .jp is for Japan, .it is for Italy. is for global web users in the United Kingdom.
  • Redirects can be set up
  • Some extension have Google penalties

Limit videos and large graphics for the global user

  • Since other countries have a slower internet connection

Submit website URL and sitemap to Google

  • Connect with Bing and Yahoo search engine for listing and indexing.
  • Google’s Search Console and Bing’s Webmaster Tools are free built-in tools that are offered to help improve your site

Research Foreign Markets and by Country and use reliable sources

Comply with Foreign Regulations, IP Rights, International Payment

Data Protection Requirements, Tax Requirements

UX (User Experience) Designers and UX Analysts role UX Analysts conduct user research, improve user experience, and not assumes anything about the target markets when designing, writes copy and validates including testing and presenting design solutions that can attract domestic and international web users.

  • UX (User Experience) designers are part of the design process and create buttons that are clickable and tells the user what each button is for and establish a hierarchy.
  • UX (User Experience) designers are part of branding, usability, create workflows and build journey maps and develop mobile, tablet and smartphone applications. Even English speaking countries like Canada, the United Kingdom have certain ways words are spelled and different than the US.

UI (User Interface) Designers, Developers, and UI Analysts role User Interface (UI) designer create a website that is easy to use, enjoyable and builds graphical user interfaces such as voice control. International usability is the effectiveness of the user interface when used in any other country than the one in which it was designed.

  • UI Designers need to know the reading direction for which country. Right to Left, Up and Down and knowing when lengthy writing or expressive content when interfacing with Arabic or German language is lengthy, long-winded vocabulary and Hispanic consumers are closely tied to their home, so marketing messages about family ties are important when building a website for Mexican users.
  • UI Analysts and Designers work together to build the visual design, information architecture and they are creating dropdown menus, icons, input controls, navigational components such as sliders, pagination, search field, breadcrumbs, and tags.
  • UI Designers use typography to build hierarchy and text arrangements, legibility, and readability. Spatial relationships, page layout and what actions the web user should take is all on the UI Designer.

Keep Moving Forward with Aptude

Aptude is your own personal IT professional services firm. We provide our clients with first class resources in a continuous, cost-containment fashion.

Our support services will free up your senior IT staff from the overwhelming burden of day-to-day maintenance issues. Now they’ll have time to launch those new projects and applications you’ve been waiting for. Simply put, we can free up your resources and contain your costs. Let’s have a quick chat to discuss our exclusive services.