Goodpatch had websites available in both Japanese and English, but wanted to strengthen their brand by translating their English site to German to reach the lucrative German speaking market. They needed a quick and efficient solution that would be sensitive to the design of their site, future developments, and one that gave them control over how much and what content was translated.
A fully realised bilingual English-German site translated in a matter of days, allowing for a quick launch into the German speaking market. The visual editor tool was instrumental in ensuring the German version of their site adapted well to the overall design of the site.
“It was great to use a translation tool that reflected our approach as a design-driven company: iterative, visual, and experience-first. The intuitive tool was accessible to all our disciplines, from content to design to strategy, and everyone could find their way around quickly. This meant all of us could do fast text edits, see how it looked, and get changes approved quickly.”Monica Scott, Design Strategist at Goodpatch
Returning from Silicon Valley, California to Tokyo in 2011, Goodpatch founder Naofumi Tsuchiya set up the company with one overarching mission in mind, prove the power of design. Now with a diverse team of over 200 employees and a renowned global client base Goodpatch has done exactly that.
In addition to client work and projects, the company has also diversified into the product category, developing a number of in-house products including Prott, a prototyping tool for mobile apps and Athena, a cross reality (XR) tool for designing and testing experiences around the connected car, to name but a few.
While design is universal, language is unfortunately not and in order to make their offering available to more markets, particularly, the design savvy German speaking market, a multilingual website became a must for Goodpatch.
Site design and aesthetics are important for any company, but when you’re a design company like Goodpatch, aesthetics are everything. After launching a stunning English language website, incorporating contemporary design with accessibility, they needed to be sure on a number of issues before they got down to launching a German version of their site.
First and foremost, the design implications: Goodpatch needed to be sure that when their content was translated from English to German, that the new German content would still fit in well with the web design they had created and achieve the same impressive impact as the English version. This is because different languages are asymmetric in nature, not only in syntax and sound, but quite often in terms of the space they take up.
So, problems often encountered by companies making multilingual sites include overlapping of text, broken design, collapsed strings, and potentially more. Issues such as these are not an option for design companies and threaten to undermine their professional reputation. This is where the team at Goodpatch found Weglot’s intuitive visual editor tool, which allows users see what their translated content will look like in a live preview of their site, of particular value:
“As a designer, it’s important to know how the copy looks on the page, especially when it comes to translating texts that suddenly get shorter or longer depending on the language. With Weglot’s visual editor, I could see straight away which part of the copy needed to be adapted or which part of the design could be improved to work with the longer copy.”Cristina Thomas, UX / UI Designer
Goodpatch had previously tried out other WordPress translation plugins such as WPML, but found that the process of ‘’handing-out” translation jobs among team members was messy and overly convoluted. While they tried to add their own German translations as they went on developing the site, they found that this too wasn’t feasible with WPML – as their design changed they often lost bits of texts such as headings or subheadings along the way.
This is when they came to really value Weglot’s ability to translate all of your site’s content, including headings, metadata and other pieces that are not always catered for by other WordPress translation solutions.
For any company translating their site from one language to another, there’ll always be certain elements you’ll never want translated, and this can often be a reservation when choosing an automatic translation solution. Such things might include your brand name, product names, and iconic slogans.
Goodpatch too was conscious not to lose these idiosyncratic features of their brand to translation. This is where they found the Weglot glossary tool, which allows users to exclude certain words or terms from translation or add custom rules for a given word, particularly useful.
Creative Technologist Janos Pauer explained, “My favourite part about using Weglot was the glossary tool. Words like “user testing” or “minimum lovable product,” that are either branded words we use for our work or simply don’t exist in the German language. With the glossary tool, we could choose words and pages that we didn’t want to be translated with a simple rule setup”.
From the beginning, Goodpatch built their website with these key factors in mind: the constant and close exchange between design, development, and content. After trying out other translation solutions they found that Weglot was the first translation tool that allowed them work with the triple threat of great design, quality content, and the ability to develop quickly and seamlessly.