lightricks blend case study

Lightricks Improved Localization Delivery Rates by 120%!

Yoni Sudry, Localization Specialist

Lightricks is a pioneer in innovative technology that leads to breakthrough moments throughout the creation process. On a mission to push the limits of technology to reimagine the way creators express themselves, the company brings a unique blend of cutting-edge academic research and design to every user experience.  

Lightricks began as a small company providing the apps in English only. But as the company’s usership expanded to include users around the globe, the need for a professional localization process became vital to Lightricks international success.   

Here’s how BLEND helped Lightricks reduce their localization turnaround times from one week to two days, improve the quality of the company’s translations, and take their global users’ video experience up a notch. 

The Challenge: Manual Excel Files 

Lightricks’ UX developers are constantly improving their apps’ UX, rolling out new product features and functionalities. And with a current global audience of millions speaking 12 languages, including Portuguese, Chinese, French, and Russian, it’s important that the apps be localized for an optimal and brand-consistent user experience, no matter the user’s language. 

In the early days of the app development company, language managers relied on the manual usage of translation Excel files and email to translate content for new app releases and version updates. But as Lightricks’ apps continued to gain global popularity and the company began marketing in additional languages, the once-effective manual localization process now proved to be tedious and unwieldy.  

Translation SLA times increased thanks to the sheer number of Excel files and translators involved in localizing content for each new app update. Maintaining a globally consistent, on-brand user experience also proved to be increasingly challenging thanks to the apps’ unique commands and terminology. Furthermore, ensuring term translation length matched the UX designers’ mockups was leading to increased back and forth between the UX design team and individual language managers. 

That’s when Lightricks knew it was time for a better localization solution. After vetting a couple of LSPs, Lightricks chose BLEND: 

The deciding factor for us was BLEND’s personal service and 24/7 support. We love how direct all communication is…When questions arise, we directly email or call our Sales Representative, Ira Kamshov, or Account Manager, Emanuel Dumitrache, and they’re always available to talk it over.

Yoni Sudry, Localization Specialist

The Process: CAT Tool Selection 

BLEND’s dedicated account manager Emanuel Dumitrache set to work advising the Lightricks localization team on how they can automate their processes and improve the quality of their translations. The first order of business was choosing a CAT tool. That would eliminate the unwieldy files and much of the unnecessary back and forth.  

After reviewing a few computer-assisted translation tools together, Lightricks opted for Smartling. Smartling’s integration with GitHub, Lightricks’ preferred development environment, makes it easy for the Lightricks UX team to update app user flows, buttons, and prompts in their native work environment, and then automatically import texts to Smartling for localization. 

The BLEND translation team receives automatic notifications when this occurs and can immediately set to work translating the texts – no manual copy-pasting or work delays.  

What’s more, with Smartling, the Lightricks team can set character limits on the requested texts to ensure translation length is consistent with the allocated space designed for in the apps’ latest mockups. These two changes alone drastically improved Lightricks’ project SLAs, cutting them down from a week to one to three days tops! 

Translating Together: An Integrated BLEND-Lightricks Team 

The next item BLEND and the Lightricks team focused on optimizing was the quality of the translations themselves. BLEND set to work creating a dedicated team of 70 Lightricks ‘badged’ translators, all vetted for their previous app translation experience and technical know-how.  

A kickoff meeting was held between BLEND translators and the UX design team to provide a product walk-through of all Lightricks apps and features. This really helped familiarize BLEND’s translators with the Lightricks brand, desired user experience, tone of voice, and of course, the products themselves. 

Meeting with the Lightricks UX and localization teams helped BLEND translators feel like an integral part of Lightricks’ product team. The translators loved getting a guided overview of the apps. It helps them best represent the company’s fresh new voice in their local dialect.

Emanuel Dumitrache, BLEND Account, Manager 

The newly badged BLEND translation team was also equipped with a glossary of commonly translated app feature names and commands for easy referral. This helps keep all-new project translations consistent and on-brand. 

The Lightricks and BLEND translation teams continue to meet weekly to discuss the latest app features, releases, and localization considerations. And should issues arise between meetings, the translation team, and product teams now handle them directly, tagging one another in the translation project itself. 

Success: GitHub to Smartling 

Today, Lightricks’ app localization process runs smoothly, quickly, and in an automated fashion. Newly hired Product UX personnel receive initial training by Lightricks Localization specialist Yoni Sudri on how to export new product texts for translation directly from GitHub into Smartling. The BLEND translation team then picks up the projects as usual, returning them fully localized in three days or less. 

And now that they have the infrastructure to expand, Lightricks has added Hindi to their translation roster, with plans to add additional languages in 2022.  

BLEND also proactively suggested adding a Translation Memory to Lightricks’ processes. The addition of a standardized TM in all languages not only increases translation accuracy and speed, but adds additional cost-saving measures for the Lightricks team! 

BONUS! Voice-over Localization 

The Lightricks team has been so happy working together with BLEND, that they decided to expand the relationship to include voice localization as well. 

Each time Lightricks has a new influencer film they’d like to introduce to a cross-border audience, Yoni sends the script to the BLEND localization team. BLEND then translates the film script and provides multilingual subtitles and voice-over recordings in all requested languages.   

BLEND has utterly streamlined the voice-over localization process for us.

 Lightricks Motion Graphic Specialist, Tom Prezman 

BLEND’s voice-over artists are selected by the BLEND team for each project and language based on Lightricks’ desired accent, tone, and vibe. Favorite artists are often brought back for repeat projects.   

With BLEND, the voice-over artists that our audience prefer are the same ones we continue to employ in future recordings. That provides a real sense of vocal continuity for our users, that had been lacking with previous providers.

Lightricks Motion Graphic Specialist, Tom Prezman 

Today, Lightricks is a true international success, boasting over 500 million downloads worldwide and numerous prestigious awards — including Apple’s App of the Year, the Apple Design Award, and both Apple and Google Play’s Best of the Year. And as Lightricks continues to expand its global userbase, BLEND continues to proactively introduce new methods for streamlining the localization process and improving the two companies’ work together.  

With a 120% improvement on localization delivery times, direct weekly communication with our personalized translation team, and a single itemized monthly localization bill, I’d say we’re pretty happy with BLEND.

Yoni Sudry, Localization Specialist 
Blend Localization
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