Antescofo is a revolutionary music startup, whose goal is to democratize the musical practice by enabling amateur musicians to play with great orchestras at home. How? Simply by using their phones with Antescofo’s mobile application.
Since it was founded in 2016 in Paris, France, Antescofo has been rapidly growing. The company has been listed as one of the best European startups with their revolutionary Metronaut app - and they do not intend to stop.
Antescofo started with Lokalise in early 2018 and in under a year:
Similarly to many other companies, Antescofo’s former localization workflow was based on spreadsheets. The need to coordinate different departments - marketing, design, developers, internal and external translators - slowed things down a lot. Whenever new translations were needed, there was a bit of chaos that postponed the release of the new features. There also were inconsistencies and naturally occurring mistakes of different kinds - like missing translations - which were quite hard to track.
Localization for projects like Antescofo is critical: with new languages, there come new markets. Although the Metronaut app is a niche product, designed specifically for classical music practitioners, it is truly international: there are no borders for the music! So, at some point, it became obvious that the spreadsheet-based solution was obsolete.
Decisions like this are not immediate: the team considered several candidate solutions. Their dream TMS had to be efficient, cross-platform, providing means for rapid integration for both developers and designers, at the same time having friendly UI/UX for everyone.
So, by testing and comparing different translation management systems, the team decided that Lokalise is the best-suited toolset for them.
Lokalise offers great synchronization for the whole product team: in the case of Antescofo, that includes external translation agencies, which may have different locations, time frames and tempo.
With Live SDK, adding new features is now real speedy. Their app has become much more consistent: any inaccuracy is easy to find. The amendments are brought to users in a split second, as there is no more need to roll out a new release just because of some minor text updates. This clearly enhances the app quality in the eyes of users.
According to Arshia Cont, Antescofo’s co-founder, migration to the new platform “took seconds, thanks to Lokalise CLI”. As soon as the translators were available, the team completed the localization jobs in no time at all.
The overall localization process in the company is well organized. The designer team creates the necessary keys using Sketch, and the marketing guys approve the text in the base language. Once the source values are ready, the translators come into play. Most of the translations are done internally, and some involve external contributors. Lokalise is a perfect tool to synchronize them all.
"One funny thing we have noticed: although we all agree about the base language, our personalities reveal themselves in translations. For instance, the Spanish version has a more laid-back tone compared to the German one ;)"
Next, the team members proof check each localization profile internally, during the beta testing stage. To make sure all users get the best impression from their product, they also ask native speakers to verify the translations. This supplements greatly to the personalized experience Antescofo strives to deliver.
Although it is hard to name one favorite feature, the team have highlighted a few.
A great thing, to their mind, is the ability to add tags to keys - really useful when working with different team members and external translators on several new features at once.
"Found it convenient to use tags and filters to make sure everything has been reviewed."
They also use the chat quite extensively: the integration with Slack is an indispensable helper in daily discussions, very useful for follow-up.
Another feature the team really enjoys is the option to attach screenshots to keys. External translators, especially those not present during the feature design, find it very useful. With screenshots serving as context, translations are way more precise and do not require multiple iterations, saving both time and effort.
Our current workflow in Lokalise: when a copywriter populates all 3 languages, we trigger a CI pipeline, which exports iOS and Android localization bundles and integrates them into our application repositories. We use a separate github public repo to push/version all localization files. Pretty simple.
Lokalise has a very user-friendly interface, the filters and tags are extremely helpful in keeping everything organized and the in-line editor which synchs in both directions is a very neat little tool. Even just being able to attach screenshots to provide context has been a huge timesaver. Overall, Lokalise does exactly what it's supposed to do and the constant development has improved the software already so much over the time I've been working with it. However, the most noteworthy thing is the outstanding customer support that deals with questions and issues in record time.