How to test your websites and mobile apps in a global market.

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Internationalization testing is part of the many tasks that a QA or developer needs to incorporate in their full test strategy.

As the internet spans across the globe, it's important to make sure websites, services and apps look and behave correctly for all users, no matter what country they come from, which language they speak or what their culture is.

Testing your software for different languages, currency formats, date and time zone formats and other region-specific details is important to attract and serve the global market.

What is Internationalization Testing?

Internationalization testing is a test technique which verifies compatibility of your website or app across different regions in the world. It is often referred to in its shortened form, i18n, where 18 comes from the number of letters between 'i' and 'n'.

Different regions in the world have different cultures, speak different languages, use other currency formats, or time indications.
It's important to make sure your website or mobile app works in all these different regions.

Internationalization testing can cover multiple scenarios during QA. In the example below, we'll highlight a typical example that you might want to incorporate in your test-flow.

Example Test scenario for Internationalization Testing

Below we'll go through a simple scenario where we need to test if i18n behaves correctly in a native mobile app or website.

You are a Chinese user and you prefer to browse websites and use apps in your native language (Chinese) instead of the default English language. However, you are living in the United States of America with the default and native language in all interfaces is English.

You purchase a new device and want to use it to browse websites. When you want to visit the Amazon website or mobile app, the language by default will be set to English. Nevertheless you want to browse in Chinese because that's your native language.

One of the test scenarios here that you can focus on is checking if the interface language changes when the user wants it to change. Do the recommendations change when you set a new locale or region? Does the currency, date and time format change when selecting a different region or language?Does the text still fit and look good for different languages on a website or device?

Strategy for Internationalization Testing

If you are interested in incorporating internationalization testing in your QA strategy, then we have some recommendations for you.

We recommend making a list of actions that need to be performed, specific to your website or mobile app and its target audience.
If your service caters to people from one or more regions, you need to make sure to test your product in those regions with the default (localization) settings of that region.

The QA list should contain, at a minimum, the following topics required for testing:

  • Verify if the product looks good in the specific language
  • Is the time zone, time format and currency format correct for the specific region you are testing
  • What about the speed of your website, is it fast enough? Some regions in the world might experience higher latency.

Let's go through an example: you want to test that your website's shopping page looks good in Japan.
You'll need to make sure that the currency format is correct, the time is correctly displayed and that the interface language is correct.
Does the website load fast enough for a user in Japan? A slow website might cause potential loss of customers.

To test these different scenarios, we recommend using a proxy or VPN service, which will tunnel all your internet traffic to a remote region in the world.
You'll experience what it is like for a user in a different part of the world to use your service.

TestingBot provides geo-location testing in over 20 different countries in the world, for both automated and manual test scenarios.

How to do Internationalization Testing with TestingBot?

TestingBot provides QA and developers with several options to do internationalization testing.
The Desktop browsers and physical mobile devices from TestingBot come equipped with various options, including:

  • Change the geolocation during testing: pick a different country during manual testing, or supply a different country code in your test capabilities to instruct the Desktop browser or physical device on TestingBot in using a proxy. All requests will go through the regional proxy, allowing you to test as you were in that region.
  • Change the language of a physical mobile devices. Either during manual testing on TestingBot, or by instructing Appium, Espresso or XCUITest to change the language of the iOS or Android device.
  • Simulate the network speed during your testing. TestingBot allows you to set network conditions, throttle network speed to mimic the experience of users in regions with higher latency to your product.

Start a free trial to begin testing with TestingBot.

Run Internationalization Testing on real devices
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