Here’s my latest post for client Pitney Bowes:
Avoid visual pitfalls.
By editing the text to be world-ready, you’re halfway towards avoiding any “international incidents.” But you also need to take a close at your visuals. All cultures have their “hot button” visuals that, at a minimum, be controversial, but at worst inflame customers. Hand gestures, for example, carry significant cultural meaning. The two-finger peace sign is a popular and peaceful hand gesture, but if you reverse that sign, you send a very negative message in many countries. (See 10 Things that Americans Don’t Realize Are Offensive to Brits.)
Tip: Avoid stock photos of people. For example, hand gestures, postures, and clothing can all offend someone somewhere. So if you can avoid using stock photos of people on your website, do so. If you must feature photos of people, focus on creating locally relevant photos so as to truly appeal to the market.
Thinking globally requires stepping outside of your own cultures and viewing your website and content through the eyes of people who have an entirely different cultural background.
Here’s the full story.