Sketching for 3 Billion People

Developing empathy for your global user can pay off big time down the road, regardless of how many markets you’re in now. Helping product leaders think about their international users starting from the design stage is why we built the Qordoba Sketch plugin, which allows designers to pull in localized content from their app or website right into Sketch.

 

How to translate Sketch files

Downloading translation into Sketch

 

Localizing Sketch pages in Qordoba

Here’s how it works. Let’s say your app (or website) is already live in 10 languages. Qordoba allows you to pull this content into Sketch on-demand, creating new pages automatically. This allows the product and design teams to review how a new feature will look like (or break!) across the 10 languages—-way before needing to involve the engineers or translators.

The plugin is helpful even if you’re testing out a language that you haven’t localized formally into yet: the localized content that is sent back to Sketch is from Qordoba’s SmartSuggest, which is automated translation.

 

Creating localized font profiles in Sketch

We’ve also built a font profile feature into the plugin. Customizing the fonts in your app by language shows your global user base a lot of love—but it’s hard to do efficiently outside of code. The Sketch plugin lets you automatically convert the fonts in your base design to the special fonts you’ve selected for specific languages. You can customize the font as well as the font size, ie, making your Japanese text layers 10% bigger than the English across your entire design, for example.

Set font preferences to localize text layers automatically in Sketch

Set font preferences to localize text layers automatically in Sketch

Globalizing your product design

You may only be in one language now, but will your current product design process hold up when you’re in 5 languages? What about 15? It’s better to know if that redesign of a sign-up form is going to work for Japanese at the design stage—and faster and cheaper to fix than when it’s already in code!

The plugin can be downloaded from GitHub here. Let us know what you think!

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