The Japanese are well-known for their cultural, technological, gastronomical, religious and other distinctions. Such differences are also apply to web design. Once you reach a Japanese website you’ll see that it’s not like the regular web page in English.
At first sight, it may seem that Japanese web design dates back to the end of the 20th century mainly because of simple website layout, low-res images, bold colors, and many other factors. Let’s find out what makes Japanese websites so unique, come up with the key 2014 web design trends as well as examples of Japanese web pages that are definitely worth our attention.
2014 Web Design Trends in Japan
One of the main reasons why Japanese web pages look different form the rest of websites on the Internet is text usage. Unlike most common English websites that are rich in high-res images and lack text, Japanese websites feature more written data. This trend is mostly caused by cultural differences since the Japanese and Chinese prefer checking out lengthy and detailed descriptions before making a purchase. Once you reach a Japanese web page it may seem that it doesn’t contain that much information. However, that is not true. Japanese characters occupy less space than English words.
There are not so many web fonts available for the Japanese and Chinese languages. The key reason of this trend is that each web font requires hundreds and sometimes thousands of individual characters to be designed, which is both time- and money-consuming. That is why Japanese web designers commonly use graphics as opposed to plain text.
The usage of bold colors is another feature that makes Japanese websites stand out. Unlike western websites that use reserved color schemes mostly, Japanese web design hosts a fusion of different colors like blue, red, green, pink, orange, yellow, etc. Such trend is not groundless since according to Japanese designers, the more colors a website features, the more user attention it would draw.
You will hardly find large pictures on Japanese web pages, unlike most western websites. As a rule, they use small, low-res images that don’t occupy much space and don’t slow down page load. The Japanese started using their smartphones for surfing the Web earlier than the first iPhone saw the light of day.
More than 90% of Japanese users read news and did most of online shopping from their portable devices nowadays. That is why online visitors tend to leave if websites don’t open in 6 seconds on the average. This, apparently, is the cause why Japanese web pages feature much text, a few low-res images, and are made on simple web standards.
Japan is the guru of minimalism. Whether they are dealing with web design or architecture – the Japanese stick to the two main principles, i.e. simplicity and functionality.
The majority of Japanese websites that target the masses (like ecommerce, online gaming, etc.) feature simple website layout. Once they make web design more complicated, they would lose millions of online visitors.
Japanese websites are rich in ads promoting products and services of any nature. Web designers concentrate the maximal information into the smallest space, making it look like a booklet.
The majority of Japanese websites are Flash-based. Though pages built in Flash rank worse than the ones built of HTML5/CSS3, they still offer unforgettable user experience. For instance, pretty often Flash-based Japanese websites feature motion background, animated menu effects, characters springing to life off the web page, and more. The biggest disadvantage of such websites is very long loading, which Eastern online visitors would hardly resist.
Given that Japanese websites are brighter, boast faster load speeds, feature plenty of bold images and banners accompanied by plain text and simple layout, they stand out from the rest of English-based web pages. Visit the most Japanese web pages listed above and see it for yourself.