Why Japanese Web Design Is (Still) the Way It Is

Anybody who visits Japanese websites will be struck by their loud banners, dense text, multiple columns, lots of tiny images, and an overall busy, crowded look. There are many articles explaining the reasons for this phenomenon, and I agree with them…but I also believe there is something deeper that continues to keep Japanese web design this way despite years of progress.

The short answer would be: It’s a cultural thing. But please allow me to delve a little deeper into what the culture is behind the clutter.

Really cool:


Anyone got a bead on the rest of the number on the top left? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Checking the article out now. Love learning other cultures.


Japanese is a mixture of hieroglyphs (Kanji) and letters (hiragana+Katagana, 100 in total). Both are ‘derived’ from Chinese, which is totally hieroglyphic. (Korea only banned the teaching of the Chinese characters around end of WW II. )

For the locals, there is not much difference between a graphical image and a Kanji. Why not using the hieroglyphs to express precisely than throwing in a vague picture? Plus, Unicode Japanese occupy much less bandwidth. Billionaire become rich by saving every penny.

The Eastern Asian average IQ has been evaluted the higest globally, which could be the outcome of generations of hieroglyphic mind torture or the cause for a much sophsiticated writting system. I prepfer former.

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