Difference between western websites with Japanese websites

Difference between western websites with Japanese websites

In the current digital world, the web is an important medium to determine the success of your business. If your company wants to appeal to the Japanese, it is worth considering having a website layout that follows the Japanese standard.

Website design varies in the western and Japanese worlds. Japanese websites are famous for busy layout, lots of text, small graphics, clashing and contrasting colors, cute characters, and flash animation. All of these things may not resonate or even attract western customers. If you want to attract Japanese customers, you can’t follow the design of websites you’re used to see, you must adapt to the Japanese design, even if it looks weird in your eyes.

Let’s dive into the differences:

Starbucks Japanese website
Example of difference between Japanese and English website

Japanese Market needs a lot of text in the Websites 

Japanese websites are different from their western counterparts because of heavy text. Unlike English, the Japanese language involves different characters and symbols. The utilization of text may vary because of the type of language but compare to most websites, the text on Japanese websites may be almost 150% greater.

As compared to several western purchasers, Japanese consumers need extensive details before purchasing an item. This ends up making a description or block of information much longer than if it was in English. The lack of negative space causes the website to look crowded to western customers.

Video, Animation and small Images

Western sites use high-resolution and large images that increase the aesthetics of the website. It is entirely different from Japanese websites, which often use low and small resolution pictures at different locations.

Another difference is that many Japanese websites include flashing images, despite in the western world, adobe flash is an outdated technology.

Also, Japanese people love videos, so insert one on the homepage is a great strategy. On the other hand, it’s important to keep attention because this can impact the loading speed of your website. The speed of a website is an essential factor. If a website takes a longer time to load, the online users will leave this site.

You have to maintain a smooth experience. It is easy to achieve this by ensuring that pages of a website load quickly by optimizing the images and text.

Color Clashes

A Japanese website that lists a lot of different photos also includes many different colors such as yellow, orange, pink, red, and blue. They use striking and bold colors to grab the attention of viewers. The clashing and contrasting colors may prove helpful to draw attention to several areas of a website for Japanese consumers, unlike for the western websites, where a theme with a matching color palette is more appealing.

Linguistic Differences

Japanese follow a logographic-based system of writing. Some characters could contain several meanings as compared to western alphabets. Moreover, this writing system doesn’t feature capital letters or italics, which restricts the possibility of emphasizing a title or text.

Also, there are several tones in the Japanese language, based on the level of the people you’re talking to. An automatic translation or even a translation made by a non-native or someone who never lived in Japan could sound offensive to the Japanese readers.

Understand Cultural Differences

You can see the influence of Japanese culture on their website design. Japanese consumers need detailed information before purchasing a product. To combat this, the website shows all the technical specifications with lengthy descriptions. You can’t attract Japanese buyers with attractive images and an exciting headline.

Moreover, Japanese companies perceive websites as advertising platforms to share their message loudly. They consider websites parallel to pamphlets and try to put the maximum amount of information in a small space.

Understand Technical Differences

Before the era of smartphones, Japanese people were using their special version of the mobile web. This required unique websites to fit on small screens and flip phones.

There’s also only a few web fonts available for the Japanese language. Every font needs thousands of characters, which can be time-consuming and expensive. Designers prefer graphics over plain text for non-standard typefaces. Numerous factors must be considered to offer a user-friendly experience.

Final Verdict

Japanese websites are different as compared to western websites in terms of layout, low-resolution images, densely packed text, flash animation, and cute characters. If you want to target the Japanese audience, you MUST follow the layout and design of traditional Japanese websites.

Make sure to follow the trends to design the best website for users and convert. With the help of a professional website designer, you can win the mind and heart of your target consumers.


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