UPS is running a “New Logistics” advertising campaign supported by a web site that has been localized into three languages.
I visited the site (http://thenewlogistics.ups.com) and I couldn’t help but comment on the global gateway used in the footer.
Here is what I saw:
What’s wrong with this gateway?
The flags are being used to indicate language.
Flags and languages are like oil and water. It’s best not to combine them in user interfaces.
For instance, by combining the link for “Español” with the Mexican flag, you send the message that the web site is ONLY for Spanish speakers in Mexico. It is possible that UPS wanted to target only this audience (as opposed to Spanish speakers in Spain, Argentina, etc.), but I doubt this. And supposing this were the case, the global gateway should have been oriented strictly by country rather than language.
UPDATE: UPS confirmed (via comment) that this web site is only intended for these four markets, hence the use of flags. So I’m wrong in my assumption. But I’ll stick with my recommendation that it would be better instead to orient by country rather than language (to avoid the potential confusion). Thanks to UPS for clarifying!
For more thoughts on global gateway best practices, check out The Art of the Global Gateway.