Website designing is already a difficult task, but designing a culturally relevant website can be even more challenging. It’s essential to consider various factors, including knowing your target audience, the differences in languages and cultures, values and beliefs, and more. When designing a visually appealing and culturally appropriate website, it’s necessary to consider these.
To achieve your goal, here are six friendly tips you can apply to achieve a culturally relevant site:
1. Know your audience
Before you do anything, it’s essential to understand your target audience—who they are, what they want or need, their interests, and their cultural references. Once you have this necessary information, you can start to tailor the content and design of your website to better appeal to them.
The best way to understand your web audience is by conducting user research. It’ll help you gather feedback and insights about your target audience’s needs and behaviors.
2. Use local language and terminology
One way to make your website more relevant to a specific culture is by using the local language and terminology. It’ll make your website feel more authentic and familiar to the target audience.
One way to do this is by localization using website translation services. It’ll ensure that the translated content is relevant to the target visitors and uses terminology they’re familiar with.
Localization is not just translating the text on your website into another language. It’s also taking into account the cultural differences between your target audience and your current one. It may include adapting the visuals, design, tone, and content to be more relevant to the new audience.
According to localization experts, it’s essential to use the correct language for your target market. When translating and localizing content, it isn’t simply replacing terms in one language with the equivalent term in another language. The key to success is to use the proper term for the right market. In some cases, this will require the use of dialects, idioms, and expressions specific to certain markets. (1)
3. Use appropriate visual elements
Just like adapting the text of your website, it’s also necessary to consider the visual elements you use. These visuals can be anything from the images on your website to how you format text.
When selecting images for your website, it’s vital to choose culturally appropriate ones. For example, if you’re targeting an American audience, avoid using images specific to Japanese culture. The same goes for text formatting. If you’re targeting a French audience, avoid using American English spellings and conventions.
Visuals can also be used to help explain complex concepts or ideas. In some cases, it may be helpful to use culturally specific visuals to help explain things. Since most users are visually oriented, using the right images can effectively communicate with your target audience. Experts suggest using local images, symbols, and themes to help explain your website’s content. (2)
4. Be sensitive to cultural values and beliefs
Different cultures have different values and beliefs that should be respected when designing a website. For example, some cultures consider it rude to show the bottom of someone’s feet, so avoid using images of feet on your website.
Likewise, be aware of the different religious beliefs of your target audience and try to avoid offending anyone. For example, you might want to do away with any images or content that could be seen as blasphemous.
Instead, focus on including images and content that reflect the values and beliefs of your target audience. It’ll help make your website feel more relevant to them.
5. Use culturally relevant content
One way to make your website more relevant to a specific culture is by using culturally relevant content. It refers to content specific to the culture you are targeting.
Nowadays, there is a lot of culturally relevant content available online. You can find articles, images, and videos specific to your target culture. If you can’t find any content specifically for your target culture, you can always create it yourself.
When creating content, make sure it is accurate and respectful of your target culture. Also, make sure all of your content is properly translated and localized for the target audience.
A good way to ensure your website content structure is culturally fit is by using a content management system (CMS) to easily add and manage content. It’ll allow you to add new content and keep your website up-to-date. (3)
6. Test your website for cultural appropriateness
Before launching your website, it’s crucial to test it for cultural appropriateness. It means checking to ensure all content is accurate and respectful of your target culture. You can do this by using various methods, such as focus groups, surveys, and user testing.
If you find that your website is not culturally appropriate, don’t fret. There are many ways to fix it. You can adjust your content, localize your website for different cultures, or hire a localization expert. No matter what business you’re in, make sure you test your website for cultural appropriateness. It’ll help ensure your website is successful in your target market.
Launching a culturally relevant website takes time and patience. You might not hit all of the right marks the first time around, so be prepared to tweak it.
Remember, every culture is different, so you will need to tailor your website specifically for each one. Be sensitive to cultural values and beliefs, use culturally relevant content, and test your website for cultural appropriateness. You can create a website relevant to your target market with a bit of effort.
- “How you can localize your product in a new language,” Source: https://blog.acolad.com/how-you-can-localize-your-product-in-a-new-language
- “Web Design: 5 Basic Types of Images for Web Content”, Source: https://blog.tubikstudio.com/web-design-basic-types-of-images-web-content/
- ”Content Management System (CMS)—The Ultimate Guide (for Enterprise)”, Source: https://waypathconsulting.com/cms-the-ultimate-guide-for-enterprise/