WEB DESIGN GUIDE THAT EFFECTIVELY SENDS MESSAGE ACROSS CULTURE

     Since the evolution of the internet, merchants has had a higher chance of maximizing brand presence across platforms. Nearly one-third of small businesses (29%) plan to start using a website in 2020. Another 29% say their website is the marketing channel that needs the most improvement in 2020. Almost all people (86%) rely on the internet to find local businesses. Most businessmen had already gradually transitioned to online advertising and building websites for their stores instead of re-opening physical ones. Now that we have the pandemic completely forcing us to shift and follow the “new normal”, the online platform has been the best option for purchasing, paying, and connecting to people. If you are a merchant, the automatic question that would pop up from your mind is

“How can I effectively amplify my brand presence to people across cultures?”.

     Targeting both local and international customers is more than building a website and paying ads. Translating your message across the world requires a lot of keen observation to the details of your website – from colorways  text design, images, language, and culture. A single advertisement can’t be applicable to all. There will be a lot of shared perspectives and acceptance of the message your brand is trying to send. 

    To help you out, here are some of the tips and tricks you can take into consideration when building or designing your website: 

1. The Power of Color 
     It is not a new in the business world that continuously target global market that simply choosing a color for their website is a crucial decision. The color element is one of the most influential factors that impacts perception. One color may mean different things to different countries. For example, if your target market is in Japan, they look at the color purple as wealth, while France sees purple as freedom or peace. In India the color purple is related to royalties. 

     If we look at color association for gender, in US, pink and blue respectively represent baby girls and boys, it is the exact opposite in Belgium. Pink is used as the color for baby boys and blue for baby girls. Interestingly, pink is considered a very masculine color in Bermuda. 

     These are just some of the color representations from different countries. That’s why before choosing a color for your website, it is important that you do an in-depth research of the color representations for your target market market to avoid confusion and building up of negative feelings from your audience. Personally, you may think that green is associated with fortune, only to realize that THAT is not the case for everyone. You can mix and match colors if you want, heck you can even opt to do it rainbow-style – as long as you can conform to cultural symbolism.

2. Imagery in the Digital Age   
     A picture speaks a thousand word is an adage that has been circulating since the earliest years. It means that whatever image you choose to present can translate different messages depending in people’s point of view and cultural awareness. If you have been into art museums, you might have noticed that there are no explanations to accompany the images. It is because even if an artist include an explanation for the image, people will still have different acceptance and perspective towards it. 

    If we put it in the context of image presentation and position on the website, everything will only be right and appealing based on cultural differences, According to Trend Reports, between 65 and 85 percent of people describe themselves as visual learners. In this fast-paced digital age, more and more photo enhancements are being created, and more on more people are becoming opinionated towards everything on a page or a website. Your company images need to be good, and they need to be ABSOLUTELY right. 

     Say for example, McDonalds ( a well-known fast-food brand all over the world), is known for its comprehensive approach to marketing and advertising. A brightly colored Indian design features a father and son (clutching a Happy Meal) rushing through a crowded supermarket with the slogan “I’m Lovin’ It”. In contrast, the Swiss site features a woman listening to music alone, in muted colors, with the same tagline. 

     According to studies, the way a person perceives an image is based on his cultural background. So, when choosing an image for your brand, make sure to research what visual graphics your target market is excited to see or drawn to the most.

3. The Change in Language

     English is and forever will be the universal language of the world. However, if your aiming for global reach, language translations included in your website is not a bad idea. Actually, it becomes more user-friendly to your audience. Most customers tend to enjoy shopping more when a website is tailored in their native language. Some big websites like Twitter had already encountered numerous problems in addressing customers because of the language barrier. Its technical team had to go through lengths to make sure hashtags, numbers, and tweets are all correctly presented.  

     It pays to build a flexible optimized search engine with multiple language options to make your audience feel welcome and considered. 

4. Eye in the Icons 
     Although they are considered small details, one mistake in the icon used can ruin the whole image of your website. The okay sign, search icon, approve sign and more can still be country-specific. For example, A symbol such as the “thumbs-up” sign might seem easily understood, but it’s considered offensive in some cultures. The “V” sign means “peace” to many people, but can also cause offense. And an “open palm” is considered insulting in Greece.
   
     More so, when incorporating a search bar in your website, some countries mistake the icon of a “magnifying glass” as related to sports like a racket. It is important that small details like these are taken into consideration to avoid confusion and make your website more culturally appropriate. 

TAKEAWAY

     Planning to build a website for your brand and designing it are two different sorts of excitement. With that feeling of giddiness and excitement also comes the thought of how your brand can be such a big thing to everyone. In this day and age, if you really want to target the global market and effectively send your brand’s message across the world, it is very important to take note of these elements to make your website perfect and culture-appropriate. If you need help building it on your own or coming up with ideas, ALL THINGS ADVERTISING is always here to give you the best service for your business.