Localization Testing in software Development

Software testing automated localized testing

Decoding the Crux of Localization Testing: 

Every application launched in the market is developed to create a magnanimous impact on its user base. Companies ensure their app stays ahead in the line when compared to their peers.

One way to achieve this goal is through rigorous testing to check the functional capabilities and excellence of the app across different phases of its lifecycle.

mobile app automation

While there is a multitude of software testing that an application undergoes during its development lifecycle, localization testing is indubitably a significant procedure to test the efficacy of the application, specific to the locale of the userbase. 

What is Localization Testing and Why to Perform it?

As the name suggests, localization testing is a software testing procedure that ratifies the efficacy of the application with respect to geographical and demographical variables or factors.

It specifically tests the linguistic and cultural adaptability and accuracy of the application taking the local aspects into consideration.

Some of the variables tested in this type of testing include default language(s), UI/UX, date and time format, currency, etc. particular to the targeted country or region.

How to Conduct Localization Testing?

how to perform localization testing

When performing localization testing, several independent testers or groups of testers run the simulation on the same set of test variables to analyze and corroborate the efficiency of the regional aspects of the application.

Some of the conventional steps and subsidiary test processes that are included in localization testing include setting up verification testing, regression testing, functional testing, etc. 

Let us look at the steps followed while conducting localization testing below:

  • The framework commences with choosing the product and designing the test environment for conducting the different phases of localization testing.
  • Once the testing scenario is finalized, it is time to zero down the script and other testing factors respective to the locale.
  • The next step involves setting up and running the verification testing as a part of the functional testing by the QA (quality analyst).
  • Normal testing is conducted to gauge the overall performance and logging bugs during the execution stage.
  • Regression testing is done to ensure all the previously detected bugs are fixed with no hidden impacts and altercations to the application.
  • The results are then analyzed and compared to check the compatibility of the local factors.
  • Last but not the least, sign-off testing is done to ensure the software/application is ready to be handed over to the client.

Automating Localization Testing:

While many testers often dodge the automation route when it comes to localization testing owing to the complexities, it is definitely worth the squeeze if you look at the end benefits, especially when recurrent localization testing is called for.

Some of the widely considered test variables for multilingual localization testing include language(s), data-driven aspects, UI/UX elements and behaviour, page objects, variations, creative tooling, etc.

Here are some of the ways of automating localization testing:

  • Considering the local aspects, testers choose the automation tools to write the scripts.
  • It is now time to design the scenario(s) for performing the localization testing and conduct the tests accordingly.
  • Analyze the results of the tests and update the same on the log.

Automating localization testing is a complex affair. It needs highly experienced testing experts with profound knowledge in the space, both testing and localization aspects.

One of the most popular automation tools used in localization testing is Selenium due to its extensive features. However, using this tool requires extra precision and know-how from the tester’s end.

Best Practices for Automating Localization Testing:

While localization testing is performed to make the application or software more compatible with the market. All the local aspects like language(s), cultural factors, currency, date and time zones, formats, etc., are considered.

Sometimes, this makes it extremely difficult to market and scale the product and measure the ROI. Listed below are some of the best practices of localization testing to feat over the above challenges:

  • Invest enough time – Localization testing is a complex procedure that requires ample time for the best results. You should invest enough time to understand the market temperament and that of the target audience. This ensures the appropriateness and precision of the application with respect to the locale.
  • Start testing early and keep repeating it – One thing that localization testing needs is starting early during the development phase. This ensures that the application is thoroughly tested for defects throughout the process instead of inviting an overhaul of defects difficult to rectify at later stages. It also needs to be repeated often to guarantee perpetual precision.
  • Seek cultural insights – When it comes to localization testing, being culturally aware and insightful with respect to the market locale is extremely important. This helps your product to be a cultural fit. It minimizes the chances of hitting cultural and demographic roadblocks.
  • Make data-driven decisions – Data is the key to unlocking market secrets today. Making data-driven decisions from marketing analytics, consumer feedback, surveys, peer study, etc. can help you scale your product faster. Thus, making it more compatible with the market.
  • Select the partner carefully – Owing to the complexity of the process, it is always advisable that you choose experts in the market. They must act as your partners in the testing process. It is better to select the partner after meticulous scrutiny. Always check their credibility, success rate, global and local reach, and knowledge, etc.

Pros and Cons of Localization Testing:

Now that we have learned a fair bit about localization testing let us also consider the advantages and disadvantages of this particular testing process.

Benefits:

  • Helps to reduce the comprehensive testing expenses.
  • Reduces the gross support charges.
  • Reduces the overall testing time.
  • Ensures enhanced flexibility and scalability.

Pitfalls:

  • Requires a tester adept in both testing procedures and local and cultural factors.
  • Local translators incur an additional cost.
  • Testers may often encounter schedule challenges.
  • Storing DBCS characters vary from country to country.

Test Case Examples for Automating Localization Testing:

  • Making glossaries available for referencing and checking.
  • Accurately formatting the Time and date for the target region.
  • Formatting the phone number properly in accordance with the target region.
  • Setting the currency for the target region.
  • Adhering to the License and Rules of the current website(region).
  • Ensuring the font independence, line alignments, and error-free Text Content Layout in the pages.
  • Checking the functionality of the special characters, hyperlinks, and hotkeys.
  • Validation Message for Input Fields.
  • Ensuring the generated build comprises all the required files.
  • Corroborating that the localized screen has uniform elements and numbers as the source product.
  • Ensuring the localized UI of the software or applications fits the need of the target user environments and operating systems.

Importance of Automating Localization Testing:

The primary agenda behind performing localization testing for software products is to make them fit into the regional market scenario. This stands true for all applications irrespective of the country of origin.

This, in turn, guarantees a higher adoption rate and brand loyalty as it kindles the regional and cultural emotional connections of the users to the product and the brand.

A product developed after passing localization tests helps the customers and the brand connect at a higher level. Thus, ensuring strengthened rapport. Compatibility and versatility factors have scaled the localization testing in terms of significance in the glocal (globalized local) market today.

Epilog

To sum it up, this has become an indispensable procedure to ensure a better market capture by a product designed for a specific locale. It helps the brand connect with the end-users on a higher scale by stimulating their ethnic values and practices incorporated in the application. However difficult and complex the procedure might be, it’s worth every dime if your get it right.

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