In a website that offers translated versions of the website in various languages (6), how should we handle language detection and suggestion?
My theory is that:
- Users hate splash screens in which you have to choose a language before you arrive at the website/page.
- Users may arrive at the English version of a page, while they would prefer a different language.
- Users like to be in control of the language version of a website, and do not expect to see a Korean version of a page, if they clicked an English page link in Google Search results while browsing from South Korea. The Korean version of the page would not match expectations of the page link, title and description that were in English.
My solution is:
Do not use splash screens
Do not auto-change language based on geo location when a user arrives at a page.
Offer a non-obtrusive way of notifying the user of a possible preferred language:
A user from South Korea arrives on English page of the website that also offers a Korean translation. Determine user's geo location and if country of visit does not match the active language and the language of the country of visit is available; offer a message (overlay pop-up, cookie-like bar at the top or bottom?) that notifies the user of the available language and offer to switch.
Is this a good practice or are there more user friendly solutions?