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What can you learn in Japanese website designs?

Back in 2014, we published an interesting selection of designs of Japanese anime sites. Surely you can guess that the works there are presented quite specific and original. They are very different from the generally accepted standard approaches to web design, for example, in Europe or the United States. The visual design of Japanese online sites is very colorful, it uses a lot of different bright graphics, images, plus the pages are literally “crammed” with texts.

For many users, it is difficult to perceive such web projects, they look confusing, and even in some places they strain a little. However, as correctly noted in the comments to the previous article, this approach to design is a consequence of specific cultural traditions. During the time of isolation from the outside world, there have been formed their own trends in art, which are also expressed when creating web-design.

Despite the rather unusual approaches, there are several things you can learn from Japanese online sites. Here are 5 simple lessons, the article is a translation of this note.

Customers expect companies to receive maximum information about a product or service (from detailed specifications to warranty conditions). All aspects must be spelled out in detail and explained so that the buyer knows exactly what he is purchasing. In Japan, attempts to deceive a visitor when certain nuances are concealed are unacceptable, and they are told about them only if someone asks.

Lesson: respect for the client is a very important (if not key) factor. Of course, suppressing a visitor’s attention with a lot of information is not the best option, but he should have access to all data regarding your product, if he wishes. You can hide some of the text on the page and open it upon request, or place links to PDF files with descriptions and specifications of devices.

The design of Japanese websites does not follow the principle of “less is more“ (less – more). Here the more different elements will be on the page, the better it will be. Perhaps this is due to the influence of Japanese art, known for its detailing.

Lesson: try to be more attentive to the details on the site, and not just check the performance of all links. Carefully analyze each element of the page, and also make sure that it is really useful for the reader / buyer.

The Japanese love bright colors that can be seen not only on sites. If you have never been to this country, then surely the image of the streets of Tokyo in your imagination is full of tall buildings with luminous blinking advertisements. In the land of the rising sun, color is more important, including when creating a web design.
Lesson: use different colors not only to make the site beautiful, but also to interact with users. It has been scientifically proven that a certain color palette causes certain emotions. So choose colors wisely and also try to find out more information about their effects on the person.

Japan is an archipelago of 6852 islands, occupying only 377.9 thousand square kilometers, inhabited by 126.9 million inhabitants. That is, the country has the 10th largest population in the world, but at the same time is only on the 62nd place in terms of size. This, in principle, explains why space plays an important role and why Japanese online sites often look so crowded. Here, “every pixel” is literally involved, developers know how to squeeze the maximum out of it.

The lesson: the advice here is extremely simple – try to use each element / part of the design with maximum benefit.

Despite the use of virtually the entire space, the concept of simplicity was rooted in Japanese culture. Do not be deceived by a large number of different elements on a web page. For our users, all this may seem like some kind of incomprehensible pile-up, but these objects are there for a reason. In addition, in the design elements themselves there is nothing difficult – they are simple and understandable for perception by any user.

Lesson: do not complicate. People are constantly busy now, and no one wants to spend a lot of time searching for information on the site. Improve interface designs and increase their efficiency – no need to add unnecessary irrelevant functions. The more convenient the site, the longer the users stay on it and the more traffic you end up with.

As you can see, the Japanese sites have something to learn. To summarize all 5 lessons, the final tip looks something like this – respect your client, be attentive to details, effectively using the color scheme and each pixel of the screen, but do not complicate the site itself. Despite the fact that many Japanese designs may seem strange, the 4th global GDP indicator of 5 trillion dollars seems to hint at the fact that they know how to do business and effective websites.

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