Dear International Users

I love international users. The web by its very nature is a global platform so really the term international is always relative. In my case international users are users not based in the United States. And boy do I love them. There are lots of reasons to love international users. I can’t quite pin down the one thing that makes them better than domestic users but in my experience they’ve been far superior to domestic users in a lot of ways. Sorry, domestic users, I love you guys too but the international users seriously impress me.

They’re more likely to try something new

Did you just build another doomed Facebook competitor? U.S. users will check out your homepage, decide its not worth the effort or assume you’ll fail and never sign up. International users? They seem to be up for trying anything once! They’ll sign up in droves and probably be the most engaged users of your site for a time. International users seem to sign up for new sites more often than people in the US. Maybe its because they’re so used to EU data privacy laws and forget Americans don’t always honor them? Maybe they’re just bored. Or maybe they have adventurous spirits. I don’t know but I love this quality in them.

They’re used to internationalization

The US is very different than the rest of the world. Despite the fact that the US is known for welcoming people from all over the world I have to say it really isn’t very non-English friendly. Europe is a very internationalized continent and everywhere you look there are signs in multiple languages even if the native language doesn’t use Roman characters for spelling. Also, with the US hosting some of the most popular websites in the world, international users are used to coming across sites in English only and aren’t scared to try them. Often times, a foreign user will know English as a second language which makes things even easier. This will sound crude and I don’t mean it that way, but it seems to me that feeling like a foreigner actually works for them instead of against them in this case.

More forgiving people

International users seem to be more forgiving of setbacks and errors in using your application. Where a US-based user will come across an error and leave your site for good, an international user will soldier on and even ask you for help in resolving an error. I want to know where errors are slipping through in my applications and most times its an international user who tells me about them.

I really love it when I get a notification that a user with a email address or a or a email address. Keep ‘em coming guys, I’m glad to see you signing up!

Thoughts, Web app development

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