Intel: The best global enterprise technology website of 2017

For the 2017 Web Globalization Report Card, I benchmarked the following 10 enterprise technology  websites:

  • Autodesk
  • Cisco Systems
  • HP Enterprise
  • Huawei
  • IBM
  • Intel
  • Oracle
  • SAP
  • Texas Instruments
  • Xerox

Intel emerged on top for the second year in a row, followed by Cisco Systems and Autodesk.

A new entrant this year is HP Enterprise, which ranked relatively low, due in large part to limited language coverage, but is notable for a world-ready architecture and above-average global gateway.

Intel held steady over the year with support for 23 languages. Intel modified its web design to support a “fly in” navigational menu. The support section also is better integrated into the design this year.

As before, Intel does an excellent job of supporting global consistency. Shown below is the Brazil home page, which shares the same underlying template as other country sites.

The nice thing about placing the Intel logo in the middle of the design is that you don’t have to worry about the logo shifting from side to side when the layout flips for bidirectional text, such as Arabic, shown below.

Notice the globe icon in the header — easy to find and use for anyone who wishes to navigate to a different locale. This is a relatively new (and valuable) addition to the mobile site, shown here:

Cisco remains the language leader of this category with 40 languages. Cisco debuted a new web design over the past year. Shown below are the before and after designs.

The most noticeable improvement is the addition of a globe icon in the header to indicate the global gateway. This is a small but important step forward in ensuring that users more easily find where they need to go.

Oracle most recently added support for Ukrainian and Arabic, increasing its language total to 32. Meanwhile, SAP dropped two languages over the past year, lowering its language total to 35 languages.

IBM is on year two of its new web design. It remains steady with 38 languages. Unfortunately, the global gateway is buried in the footer of both the desktop and mobile websites.

HP Enterprise is a new global website born of a spinoff from HP. The web design uses a lightweight, responsive template and includes the perfect global gateway icon in the header — yes, the globe icon.

Unfortunately, I found the global gateway menu to be buggy and difficult to use — and it is demoted to the footer on the mobile website.

To learn more about these websites along with best practices and emerging trends, check out the 2017 Report Card.
PS: All purchasers of the Report Card receive signed copies of Think Outside the Country, among other goodies.

 

 

The top 25 global websites of 2016

Web Globalization Report Card 2016

 

UPDATE: The 2017 Web Globalization Report Card is now available.

I’m pleased to announce the publication of the 2016 Web Globalization Report Card and, with it, the top 25 websites:

  1. Google
  2. Facebook
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Hotels.com
  5. NIVEA
  6. Booking.com
  7. Nestlé
  8. Pampers
  9. Adobe
  10. Intel
  11. Twitter
  12. Microsoft
  13. American Express
  14. BMW
  15. 3M
  16. Hitachi
  17. Starbucks
  18. Nike
  19. Samsung
  20. Cisco Systems
  21. Nikon
  22. TNT
  23. Philips
  24. Autodesk
  25. ABB

It’s hard to believe that this is the twelfth edition of the Report Card. Over the past decade I’ve seen the average number of languages supported by global brands increase from just 10 languages to 30 languages today.

And, of course, the top 25 websites go well beyond 30 language. Google supports  90 languages via Google Translate and 75 languages on YouTube. And Facebook stands at 88 languages.

But it’s not just languages that make a website succeed globally. Companies need to support fast-loading mobile websites, locally relevant content, and user-friendly navigation.

Notable highlights among the top 25:

  • Wikipedia is far and away the language leader, with content in more than 270 languages. The company also now supports a mobile-friendly layout that is considerably lighter (in kilobytes) than most Fortune 100 mobile websites.
  • NIVEA provides an excellent example of a company that localizes its models for local websites — one of the few companies to do so.
  • Nike made this top 25 list for the first time, having added languages and improved global consistency and navigation.
  • As a group, the top 25 websites support an average of 52 languages.

For 2016, we studied 150 websites across 15 industry categories — and more than 80% of the Interbrand Best Global Brands. Websites were graded according to languages supported, global navigation, global and mobile website architecture, and localization.

Congratulations to the top 25 websites!

The best global websites of 2012

UPDATE: The 2017 Web Globalization Report Card is now available.

I’m happy to announce the publication of the 2012 Web Globalization Report Card. This year, we reviewed 105 websites across 17 industries; the websites comprise 70% of the Interbrand Best Global Brands of 2011. This year, we also reviewed mobile websites and mobile apps, to better understand how companies were balancing global and mobile strategies.

Out of the websites reviewed, here are the top 25 overall:

Last year, Facebook emerged (barely) as number one. This year, Google reclaims the top spot. Although Google continues to struggle to harmonize its global navigation across its many applications, the company also continues to invest in globalization. Google now supports more than 140 languages on its search engine and its new Google+ app supports an impressive 40 languages. Facebook’s mobile app, by comparison, supports just 13 languages. Though Facebook continues to improve its global navigation, its language growth stalled in 2011.

As a group, the top 10 websites support an average of more than 50 languages. They also demonstrate a high degree of global design consistency across most, if not all, localized websites. This degree of consistency allows them to focus their energies on content and mobile localization. Two new companies on this list – Hotels.com and Booking.com – exhibit an impressive commitment to mobile devices. Any company that is developing a global mobile strategy should study these two companies.

Why didn’t Apple make the top 10?
I’m anticipating I will get asked this as I was asked the same thing last year. After all, how can a company with nearly $100 billion in the bank not be in the top 10? It seems that Apple has been rather tightfisted with its translation spending; the company supports far fewer languages on its website than on its mobile operating system iOS. Does it make sense for an iPad and iPhone to support Arabic and Hebrew and for Apple’s website not to support these languages?

Language parity between mobile and PC is a key component of the 2012 Report Card and Apple did not fare well in this regard.

It’s worth noting that of the websites reviewed, roughly half now support Arabic and/or Hebrew.

In the Report Card, languages account for 25% of a web site’s score. We also evaluate a web site’s depth and breadth of local content, support for local-language social networks, the effectiveness of the global gateway, and global consistency across PC and mobile platforms. Beginning in 2010, we began tracking how companies promote local social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter around the world. In 2010, only a handful of companies supported a Twitter or Facebook page outside of English. Today, more than half of all companies reviewed support a social network outside of English.

Cisco Systems is worth studying for its Social@Cisco pages. This social aggregation page was first launched in 2010. It is now available in more than 30 markets, with local feeds incorporated.

Hard for me to believe, but this is the eighth edition of the Report Card. It’s the largest report ever, with 40 website profiles and a special section on “taking mobile global.” I’ll have lots more to say in the weeks ahead.

To learn more, check out the 2012 Web Globalization Report Card.