If Figma is your team's go-to for design, you want the tools in your localization workflow to sync with it automatically - and that's perfectly reasonable. After all, by cutting out manual work from your process, you'll be minimizing human errors, delays, and other unsavory bits.
Not only that, but we already know that having proper context has a significant impact on localization quality. It can give your linguists a full view of the current feature flow and help them come up with the best linguistic solutions for each screen. Plus, it almost completely prevents concatenation and placeholders blunders - that's when your translator translates pieces of strings separately, without knowing or having any control over what they'll apply to or how they'll come together at the end.
That's why a Figma localization plugin is one of the most useful features a localization tool can have. It's a huge asset to UX teams. Today, I wanted to take a closer look at a new Figma plugin released by one of the most exciting new-gen localization tools in the market today, Localazy® (more about them here).
Trying to stay on top of the thousands of words that make up a design can be pretty tricky, especially when your team is dispersed over several departments. Handling copy changes at various points along the process can get messy pretty fast, causing discrepancies and inconsistencies. The manual labor involved in updating strings can keep your team away from other essential tasks and delay feature rollouts in your global markets. Plus, external vendors, like freelance translators, will never be as immersed in your product as your in-house team. Giving them enough context is crucial for localization success.
Lucky for us, the Localazy plugin for Figma offers a simple, easy-to-use solution. It's a great way to streamline your processes and take out some of the friction localization workflows are infamous for. Here are a few things it can help you do:
If you've ever tried maintaining different versions of screens for each language, you know it can get out of hand fast. With this plugin, there's no need to deal with that at all. You can sync the source strings with Localazy from a single board and page, and easily switch between the localized versions of the copy when you need to. If all your languages currently require identical layouts, it's a huge time saver that'll definitely prevent some of the chaos product teams deal with when localizing.
Migrating copy from Figma to set up a localization process is usually a huge hassle. There's no designated way to export strings into a translatable format or keep string IDs in order. And to ensure your linguists get the proper context, you also need to manually create screenshots and upload them to the CAT tool of your choice (if you're lucky and that tool supports screenshot context).
But with this Figma plugin, it all happens automatically. You can set it up to use your textbox ID as a string ID so that the exported file already has all the data your dev team needs for production. Plus, once you give the plugin a file share link, every string in Localazy will include an automatically generated backlink to its exact location in Figma. Rather than just getting visual context, your linguists can view the entire user flow and understand it better.
Remember concatenation blunders? Now they're no longer an issue. After the initial localization phase is done, you can pull the translated copy into your layout with a single click. You, your team, and your linguists will be able to see precisely how the newly-localized texts look in layout, identify issues such as overflowing lines and mistranslated placeholders, and quickly correct them before they get to production.
Say goodbye to the copy-paste dance, become you'll no longer be needing it. Using this plugin, you can take your texts through the various localization stages with barely any manual effort. By automating tasks, using the sync feature wisely, and minimizing human involvement, you'll be able to release new localized versions much faster than before. That's ideal for agile teams, as they can focus on the things that matter - like quality and strategy - and leave the grunt work to the machines.
If you're a send-and-forget type of person, this feature will be right up your alley. Using the Figma plugin, you can set up your account so that any new strings in a specific project are automatically sent out for translation. Then, when you push strings into Localazy via the plugin, they'll be translated by a human in a predefined time frame. Localazy promises to have translations ready within 2-5 business days.
You currently don't have much control over who will be doing the localization, which may be an issue - but the Localazy team is highly responsive and will do their best to ensure you get the results you're after. As always when working with an external provider for localization, keep an open mind but leave your guard up in terms of quality.
Plugin access is available for Localazy users on the Autopilot tier and up. The price tag of $49/month includes all other features on this plan - including webhooks, screenshots, and other integrations. Plus, you'll be getting your money back in the form of translation credits.
Handling localization workflows manually may work if you only have a small number of strings, but larger products can greatly benefit from the time and effort saved by automation. As I often tell clients, if you feel the amount of manual labor weighs on you, it's probably a good choice to invest in some time-saving tech. You can try the Autopilot tier for free for 7 days before you make your decision. If you're considering Localazy for this feature, use that time to try some workflows and see exactly how many work hours you'll be getting back.
Using this plugin is pretty straightforward. Here's how you do it:
You can have the strings translated by your team, use machine translation, or have the Localazy translation team work on them. This is where your carefully crafted localization process fits in. You can read the Localazy documentation on their website to learn more about working with the platform.
Note you can also do this in a new copy of your project if you want to keep separate copies for every language. Simply create a Figma copy of the source project, connect the plugin to Localazy as you did before, and download the strings into the new project.
Once you've finalized your translations and are happy with the result, you can easily export a file with the translations and key IDs through the Localazy platform. Simply visit the File management tab in your project dashboard to download.
That's it! I feel plugins like this one can completely change the game for Figma-based workflows, and I'm excited to see what features and capabilities they'll include in future releases. I hope this review will help make localization easier and simpler for you. Good luck :)