Creating a unified design system for UX localization for Samsung Mobile in Indian languages

The Creative Ask

India is home to 600+ million Internet users and growing, with 40 million users coming online for the very first time, year on year. Most of these new internet users are from geographies where languages other than English reign supreme. Large phone manufacturers like Samsung are accelerating the adoption rate of mobile telephony amongst native language users by customizing the User Experience and reimagining the mobile interface for these regional users.

About Samsung

Samsung is the world’s largest manufacturer of smartphones since 2011. They are also the highest-selling brand of mobile phones in India.

The Agrahyah Response

Our expertise was brought in to prevent design inconsistencies from creating friction in the user experience. We were to create a globally consistent,on-brand, seamless, and improved user journey across the suite of first-party Samsung apps such as the dialer, messages, camera, settings, etc.

In consultation with Samsung designers, we created a holistic design system containing a universal set of guidelines for the Samsung Design Team to follow while implementing vernacular content across touchpoints.

Our strategy and recommendations were guided by user research, UX inputs, and linguistic expert inputs in order to create a standard set of best practices covering:

  • Language usage
  • Content Length and Depth
  • Samsung Brand Tone and Voice
  • Component Guidelines

What Did We Do ?

  • We began by conducting qualitative audience research and interviews. We supplemented our foundational efforts by conducting in depth competitor feature set analysis, to identify existing need gaps and pain points in the vernacular content experience.
  • We then plotted the product journey with Hindi, Bengali, and Marathi users in mind. We created a globally-shared document laying out the principles to treat text, accompanying imagery, points of insertion, messaging intent, and placement.

Project Scope

For this project, Samsung worked with Agrahyah to create a centralized UX best practices, workflow, and guiding system. The aim was to align the activities of multiple divisions of Samsung’s global design & product teams working across geographies to create a consistent localized experience for Indic language users.

In particular, Samsung was looking for a consultant to come on board and create a single source of truth for the localization process to create a seamless user experience for Hindi, Bengali, and Marathi users.

What makes this cool + challenging ?

Context, consistency, tone of voice, translate vs. transliterate…there are many fields of localization to be factored in while on Indic languages. Samsung had teams across India and the world working on this project, so we have to create a design system that everyone working on this project understands, interprets, and implements in the same intended way.

To take one instance, while localizing UI/UX designed for Hindi, Bengali, and Marathi users, literal translations of English phrases and importing conventions used by English users without accounting for the regional context – can lead to inconsistent, misleading, culturally-inappropriate and downright confusing experiences for users.

  • 'Save' can't be Bachao
  • 'Last Call' on the phone dialer can't be Antim Call
Fun fact

While the core design system was about ~100 slides, the entire presentation with all annexures is over 1800 slides long!

The Outcomes

At the end of the project, despite the emergence of global lockdowns during the pandemic, Agrahyah remotely collaborated with distributed teams and successfully delivered the following process guiding documents within tight timelines:

  • Audience research and interview report against existing solutions
  • In-house analysis report of existing UX solutions with bottlenecks and key issues highlighted, in document format
  • Competitor analysis and insight report, in document format
  • Approach plan and implementation outline, in presentation format