Kill or Keep? Measuring our Product/Market Fit

There’s a great post about how to measure your product/market fit here. It’s a recommended reading to anyone interested in a serious product development. This post however, is about us implementing that idea.

So we asked from our developers: How disappointed would you be if you could no longer use this service?

That’s a scary question to anyone who has put their heart and all the waking hours to create something others would hopefully use and enjoy. But it’s a good question to ask, otherwise there’s no way to know am I wasting time here or maybe doing actually something useful?

Well I think we got the answer to that question and as a bonus some really awesome feedback! Thanks to all who answered, we will read all your feedback for sure. Also thanks to KISSinsights for providing great free widget for the survey.

So to the results: Staggering 68.2% think that they would be very disappointed if they could no longer use (!!!!). 22.7% would be somewhat disappointed and only 9,1% not disappointed at all.

Wow! The team has really put an effort on creating the service so it’s great to see that you guys and gals appreciate it! For us this means that there’s a lot of work ahead and meeting all the expectations is going to be tough challenge but we are definitely up to it.

And don’t forget that you can still give us feedback (we reply) so if there’s anything in your mind, don’t hesitate to let us know here in the comments or submit via our help desk.

Big thanks again for everyone who answered to survey

Leap of Faith: Translation Quality Control

Leap outtake - Boy
(Photo by Joe Green)

Quality control is an integral part of software localization work. That sounds self-evident, right? Like something that has to be there, because you don’t want to end up on a list like this. But the big question is how (and of course, how much).

The common approach to quality control in localization has traditionally been translating-editing-proofreading (in industry jargon simply TEP). This process consists of two or more professionals, one who translates the text and the other who proofreads it. This often contains a lot of sending files back and forth and some discussions, maybe even arguments, about terminology or grammar. As with all human processes, the end results depend on the individuals involved, but basically traditional TEP offers a good chance of getting good quality results.

But does this great process happen in real translation life? Sure, but all too often you might not want to allocate enough budget to have two professionals on board and you skip the proofreading step. Or you think you don’t have enough time and skip the proofreading step. Or you buy the whole process from someone who says “all translations are proofread by a second professional”, but who still skips the proofreading step. So you end up with a translation that your translation subcontractor (who you found on the Internet without being able to check the references) says is OK, but you have no chance of checking if it really is. Unless you want to pay more and send it to a second vendor for review. Which not only costs money, but also takes time. And if you don’t have a nice budget in your hands, you are probably bound to skip localization testing too. Which means the quality of that single professional is what your end-users will see, be it good or bad.

It is easy to see that localization quality has risks attached to it. We haven’t even discussed style issues yet: good grammar and fabulous Shakespearian wordings might still not cut it, if the software doesn’t speak the kind of language expected by the buyers.

The end-users are of course the ones who should be happy with the localized texts. What if they would be the one who helped you in quality assurance? Heck, if you have a nice app with loyal users, there’s a fair chance they’d love your software even more having been allowed to participate in the process.

Bye 2010, Hello 2011! is now 10 months old! We’ve achieved so much in this 10 months that it’s unbelievable. I’ll present some numbers and also will shred some light what are our goals for 2011.

If you’ve followed our story here in Blog, Twitter or Facebook you’ve seen that our socially enabled web-based CAT-tool has matured and grown really fast. There has been tremendous interest in things what we do, both from developers and translation community. And what has brought a great satisfaction to me has been the success of crowdsourcing. We’ve proofed that it really works and it has been working much better than we ever expected. We’ve activated thousands of hobbyists, software users and professional translators to work on projects that developers started. Amount of words translated is increasing 100% every month and we see more and more active (and also inactive) projects. Currently about 25% of registered projects are active (has one or more translator), however it is increasing and this is one of the key meters we will follow closely while  improving this year.

Android and iPhone seem to be ruling the platform wars on mobile side.  Regarding web platforms, no surprises there either. The usual suspects Ruby on Rails, PHP based CMS’s and Django are currently mostly used web platforms in projects.

So this year has been more about development. Next year will be about growth. We got good start and we are already growing organically so we just need to increase the pace and let people know we are here! You can also help, in every project there’s a like and tweet buttons, click them to promote and support the project and us as well.

So in year 2011 Get Localization is:

Get Localization is a community for Developers and Translators to work together and create applications everyone can understand.

To break this down:

  1. We are a community as a whole and we do have smaller communities within our community.
  2. Every project space (private or public) is a place for Developers and Translators to form their own community
  3. We do this so people can have applications they understand, so that overall user experience for applications would be better. This is a win-win for everyone. We as a application makers win when users win.

So this is what we are so eagerly taking forward. Please follow our journey and give us your feedback, it will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for the past year and Happy New Year 2011!