Mobile messaging is eating the world. So it follows that mobile messaging interfaces will eat UI design. To wit: meet Stepes, a “chat-based translation app” created by veteran software localization company CSOFT. For “chat-based” read: it has a mobile messaging style UI. (For another recent example of messaging interface appropriate see also: Dojo-Labs.)
CSOFT is drawing on its 10 years+ of translation services expertise, including a crowdsourced glossary for industry/topic specific nomenclature, called TermWiki, which it launched around four years ago, and the circa 50,000 translators already on its books. So Stepes is not a typical startup, but rather a new venture by an old (in tech terms) translation software company drawing on some up-to-the-minute app interface trends to tackle a specific problem.
That problem? How to deliver translation services via smartphone — and thereby unlock a potentially massive market of bi/multilingual people to grow the number of translators available for on-demand translation work (and thereby grow the overall size of the translation pie)
Instead of Stepes just being targeted at the circa 250,000 professional translators it says are currently working in the field, CSOFT is eyeing up something like half the world’s population (aka the total number of bi/multilingual people) as potential users of its app. So yeah, pretty ambitious stuff.
Yet look at the hundreds of millions of users mobile messaging platforms like WhatsApp have managed to acquire and you can see the logic. Thinking being: you don’t have to be a pro translator to be able to apply language skills to translate a few snippets of text if you have a bit of downtime and your phone to hand. As many people surely do.
About CSOFT International
CSOFT International Ltd. is a world leader in localization and globalization consulting services, providing turnkey solutions for companies facing the challenges of engaging customers and markets across linguistic and cultural barriers. Recognized as one of the Top Innovative Companies in 2011 by IDC we have an award-winning international team. In 2012, the company’s CEO was named one of Fortune Magazine’s 10 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs and a Tech Disruptor by CNN Money.