Design Consulting

Design Consulting

Evaluation is not enough. We assist you to turn the research/study results into the digital reality.

Culture and design

Different cultures have different perceptions of "easy to use" 

In the age of globalization, often times we see consistent UIs for different markets. It surely works for branding, however local users often feel "something wrong" from them, which sometimes makes it hard for them to have a feeling of familiarity towards the products, despite the fresh experiences from the novelty of the product.

The feeling of this discomfort arises not only from the awkward translations of languages or wordings, but the different perceptions of what is "easy to understand" or "easy to use" which may vary from country to country or from culture to culture. 

For example, websites and mobile app screens in the western world are often designed to minimize text labels or descriptions to be as simple as possible compared to those in Japan. Why is this so?

Information search approaches vary by culture

If you conduct an eye-tracking test of users in different countries for the same website design, you will first find that the way they search for information is very different. For example, German users tend to look at the top of the page intensively to start searching, while Japanese users tend to scan through the entire page in a short period of time to get the sense of what the website is about. Other East Asians such as Chinese users have the same tendency as Japanese users to browse more information in a given amount of time.

Such behavioral difference gives us a hypothesis: East Asians take contextual approach compared to westerners, or have more tolerance for the complexity thus more information can be allowed on the UIs.

Design is the key for the brand image

When we ask users to interact with a product and then ask them in a post-interview what they think of it, it is often the case that if the design is not what they expected it to be, it significantly damages their impressions of the product and prevents them from reusing it. Users often expect a product to be similar to what they are familiar with, and if the design does not match their mental models, the product is considered to be "not usable" and "unfriendly". 

Finding a common ground between branding and localization

It is always a hard decision for international companies how to balance the design consistency across different markets and localization. Sometimes only adding small descriptions works,  but other times using a different design template may be necessary. Or even launching a separate product may be the best solution. We are capable of supporting you with the product improvement and redesigning.

What we can do: Not only localization, but also "Transcreation"

Launching your product onto a different market requires a careful consideration. According to your needs, we will provide different levels of localization or "transcreation", in which we will transform your product for the Japanese market.

  • Hi-res Wireframing:
    If you have a flexibility to redesign UIs, we can explore new design ideas which can be easily accepted by the local users.
  • Contextual translations:
    We can provide proper translations of UI elements (labels, descriptions, error messages etc) according to the context, using common Japanese to the local users.

We will provide custom-made UX services for your needs!

Contact us for UX Design