At DocuSign, one of our top priorities is ensuring that the benefits of going digital are available to as many people possible. Our localization team helps make DocuSign available in a variety of languages, markets, and countries, thus providing virtually infinite potential to simplify workflows around the globe.

We sat down with DocuSign’s Senior Localization Program Manager, Yoko Suzuki, to give a peek inside how DocuSign’s localization team manages the translations of DocuSign into a variety of languages, as well as ensuring the programs are adapted to the target user’s culture.  

The Team

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An example of “strings” being translated in Smartling.

“Our team consists of myself and several language specialists that are taught to do localization for French and Japanese in-house,” says Suzuki. “We outsource the localization vendors and, altogether, we’ve helped adapt DocuSign to 43 signing languages and 13 sending languages.

“In every product development phase we have to consider the question: ‘Does your user interface or application look and feel like the products in the local country?’ In order to create the best experience in local countries we need everyone to be mindful about localization.”   

The localization department is currently placing a special focus on improving localization quality for France and Japan through the help of in-house translator specialists — also known as pilot language specialists. “They help us address any issues or problems we encounter during localization,” says Suzuki.

“They help with layout issues, or any language we find challenging to translate,” says Suzuki. We work together to find those issues before we send all the “strings” (phrases and sentences) for translation to our localization vendor.

Since last year, the department has also leveraged the power of Smartling, a cloud-based translation management technology. Smarling enables them to manage localization projects, and vendor and translation workflow all in all one place.

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Smartling translations.

In terms of best practices for marketing teams worldwide, Suzuki has created a Localization Excellence Steering committee: “We have a meeting once per month in which representatives from EMEA, the Americas, and APAC will share t heir roadmap, plans, initiatives, and best practices around localization.”

What Does the Future Hold?

What do Suzuki and her team have planned for the future? Right now they are gearing up for their next internal Hackathon:

“We have one every six months or so in our product organization. During our last Hackathon, the QA team developed a screenshot capture tool which will be integrated into the QA automation, which will capture product user interface in English and language versions. Using this tool, QA can detect UI layout issues very quickly and easily.  

“In the future, we would like to see localization with QA more automated, scalable, and able to expand into a  larger number of languages,” says Suzuki.

Want to learn more about all of DocuSign’s supported sending languages? Take a look at the complete list here.