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How does Moovit increase its user adoption rate through localization?

How does Moovit increase its user adoption rate through localization?

User experience (UX) refers to a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service. The focus is on gaining a deep understanding of users: what they need, what they value, their abilities and their limitations as well. The information must be trustworthy, useful and easy to apply. Global applications require localization in order to build trust among their users.

In order to achieve a high-quality UX for each localized application, all the details need to be studied, preferably also by a local professional who is familiar with aspects of diversity and cross-cultural sensitivities.

Research indicates that users prefer to visit and interact with sites and applications that are designed specifically for them, thereby contributing to online customer trust, satisfaction and e-loyalty (

Moovit is an international transit app based in Israel that is used and trusted by over 45 million passengers across more than 1200 cities. Moovit offer its users a combination of all transit options together in a single application. This grants users access to information and control over their travels so they can finally enjoy peace of mind when taking public transportation. moovit

When I visited Moovit’s offices a few weeks ago, I was impressed by the huge diversity among their employees: from Brazil, Germany, China and many other countries of origin. Employing people from different localities helps them provide their high level of localization for their users. Yovav (Jay) Meydad (Moovit VP of Products & Marketing) explained to me how they perform the vital work of localization.

The first step is translating the content to the local language and making sure to employ the dialect and actual terminology used in each place. For example, London has the Tube or Underground while in New York the same type of public transit system is called the Subway. The San Francisco Bay Area has BART; in France it’s the Metro.

The second step is to hook up to the local systems’ information in real time: When is the scheduled bus really arriving? Are there any delays or traffic jams? Where do you transfer from one train to another? And so on and so forth.

The last step is the graphic arts. This is the most challenging step in the localization process. Colors play an important part in choosing the right graphics scheme. For example, the color red has various connotations in Western cultures; it means both danger and action. In Chinese culture, red is the color of good luck and celebration, but in South Africa it signifies mourning.

But graphics consist of more than colors. Images have much impact on the success of localization. Early on, Moovit used illustration graphics for their application, which saved them a lot of money and time. However, after a switch to real pictures, their surveys showed a 50% rise in their active daily users. The most interesting change occurred when they replaced the pictures of generic buses with those of the actual local buses; then their surveys showed a performance improvement of more than 100%! In other words, when local users see their own familiar buses or other means of transportation, they feel more comfortable and place more trust in the product, which is paramount in our global digital world.


Buenos Aires, Argentina    Sydney, Australia    Sao Paulo, Brazil    Toronto, Canada



Here are three recommendations for web companies seeking success in the international market:

  1. An important step in creating app content is making sure that it can be localized and adapted to each target market.
  2. The goal of effective communication with your potential global users and first-rate UX means it isn’t enough to simply use the standardized images, layouts and colors of the original parent application.
  3. Do thorough research, including testing different types of designs tailored to various cultural groups.


For information about Osnat Lautman and the services offered by OLM Consulting, please visit









OLM Consulting Founder

Osnat Lautman is a well-known intercultural expert and the author of the Amazon bestselling book ‘Israeli Business Culture’. Osnat is passionate about cultures, connecting humans and breaking through culture barriers. She created the ISRAELI™ model of Israeli business characteristics (Informal, Straightforward, Risk-Taking, Ambitious, Entrepreneurial, Loud, Improvisational) to reveal the foundations of the Israeli innovative culture. Osnat supports many organizations and individuals to effectively connect and engage with Israelis, avoid misunderstanding and maximize the value of combining the innovative Israeli spirit into a multi culture environment.

Osnat is the founder of OLM Consulting and her customer include the Manufacturers’ Association of Israel, The Jewish Agency, Verint, NYU Tel Aviv, the British Embassy, the Swedish Embassy, the Belgium Embassy, FIDF, Israel Defense Ministry delegation in New York, JCC Association, National Bank of Australia, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 888 Holdings, Corning, SkyVision, ObserveIT, MX1, Israel Export Institute, StartApp, Tel Aviv Municipality, and many others.

Osnat lived in Hoboken, New Jersey, from 2009 to 2013. During this time, she started her extensive research on the differences between Israeli and non-Israeli business cultures, including video interviews with businesspeople from numerous origins. The recorded discussions are incorporated into her lectures and workshops for demonstration purposes.

Osnat holds:
M.A in Social Science and Communications, Bar Ilan University, Israel
Certificate in Organizational Development, New York University, New York
Coach License from Co-Active Training Institute, Israel

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