Imagine a troublesome person. That’s every digital consumer in Japan.
Just as etiquette in romance and dining vary from country to country, the same applies to etiquette for digital communication tools. Here are some characteristics of Japanese websites.
Japanese websites are wordy.Japanese sentences can contain kanji, hiragana, and katakana. Meaning can be generally understood by looking at kanji alone. Katakana generally tells you that the word is borrowed from another language. These characteristics make it easy to skim through sentences. This is different from some other languages, where you have to read through each word. Therefore, Japanese websites do not inflict agony on readers, even with large amount of textual information, but rather allow readers to feel satisfied by obtaining a lot of information in such a short time.
Extensive use of the visual presentation of characters
Also, illustrations and the visual presentation of characters are used almost everywhere. They are used to relieve the reader from any stress as they consume a large amount of textual information. The visual presentation of characters are proof that a sense of animism still exists in Japan. Japanese people have the belief that gods dwell in all things, each with a unique personality, watching over us. This is the origin of modern animation. When Japanese people see a character on a brand or company website, they try to understand its character and what it represents, and at the same time, feel at ease. Therefore, certain businesses can use illustrations and characters as a way to attract more fans.
Because they read a lot of text while enjoying the visual presentation of characters, Japanese visitors tend to stay on each page longer and will generally come back to visit again and again. In designing a website, it is important to convey a large amount of information in a stress-free manner.
For Japanese people, contacting a business for an inquiry is rather difficult. Many are introverts and have a hard time rejecting people, so they cannot make an inquiry light-heartedly. It is because they feel that they may end up buying something they do not need if they are persistently approached or feel embarrassed if they ask a misguided question.
Therefore, it is necessary to use a softer approach than telling visitors to “Please contact us”. For business-to-business cases, you may offer your visitors materials that they can download. In the case of business-to-customer interactions, you may offer them free gifts.
Impression controls all communication.
For the Japanese, the starting point of communication is to make sure you are compatible with the other party. This applies both online and offline. When looking at a website, they want to know if the company’s ideas and concerns match their values based on the wording, use of color, illustrations, and selection of characters on the site. Therefore, communication strategies must be developed after thoroughly studying the preferences and values of the target audience.
These are the five traits of Japanese websites. There are many more, so please contact us if you would like more information.