AVANCE is a wonderful non-profit organization that helps parents and children grow positively and adapt to society. We learned so much from this project and are so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with them.
There were many unique challenges with this project that we hadn’t yet encountered before, mostly around implementing a bilingual website. The client, AVANCE, needed a website that was equally accessible for native Spanish speakers as it is for English speakers. Basically, Google Translate was not going to cut it.
One of the major asks was to allow visitors to select their native language when they land on the page. Once selected, the browser should save that information for that user so whenever they visit the website it will automatically display the native speaker’s language.
They also wanted the website to be lively, show the Latino culture proudly, and inform visitors of the programs that they have to offer. Of course, it also needed to have an equally accessible mobile experience and be responsive on multiple devices.
We took a multi-pronged approach to tackle the bilingual requirement. First, we used a plugin called TranslatePress, which allowed us to have finer control of what text to display based off of the language selection. With this, you can also limit the language selection to just the ones you needed. This allowed us to show authentic, native Spanish on the website and helped users feel more at home. It was not without issues however. There is one interesting feature that is built-in and cannot be changed, which essentially finds similar words and uses previous translations to display on the page. While this is nice, it gave unexpected results. We were able to bypass this by using “language blocks”, which allowed us to select entire sections and manually translate ourselves.
Finally, for the look and feel, we worked very closely with the AVANCE communications team to establish an identity and ensure that we were using the proper branding colors that they already use throughout their organization.