As I prep for two classes on best practices in global navigation, I came across the Spanish-language website for GEICO and I noticed a small but non-trivial error.
See if you notice it as well.
GEICO does a number of things quite well when localizing for the more than 50 million Spanish speakers in the United States
Let’s visit the home page of GEICO:
You’ll notice the link to the Spanish-language website is perfectly positioned in the header and well localized as Español.
Clicking on the link brings you to the localized home page:
Okay, what’s wrong here?
It’s a detail, I’ll admit, but it also exhibits a lack of understanding of the intended audience.
That’s right. The Inglés link should be displayed as English.
I call this error one of over-localization or over-translation. The intended user is a person who may not be fluent in Spanish, someone simply looking for a link that will take them to English-language content.
That’s why the universal global gateway menu works so well — but also why it can be a challenging sell within many global organizations. Though I’ve had a good track record overall.
If you’d like to learn more about global or local navigation, join me in less than week or just a bit beyond:
Spotlight on Spanish
November 6-7, 2023