That is also another reason I have visited Japan – to understand Japanese market in my field and make contacts, which would shed some light on the web design industry. I have managed to arrange a meeting with a digital marketing agency owner here in central Tokyo. He has an excellent perception of the web market, Japanese clients and communication as his company has been around for over 10 years now.
I learnt that Japanese side of the Internet varies at many levels. I think the crucial factor is people reluctant to change what’s already there. The excuse is always the same: “it works, so why change it?”. On the west we usually associate a change with an improvement. The other thing which shocked me was seeing businessmen using laptops from year 2000 – 1280 x 800 screen resolution, ball mouse, thick as suitcase shell and a battery lasting an hour. You can imagine that those devices can’t handle high-spec websites or allow for browsers that would be capable of displaying fancy animations. Due to the lack of improvements they keep focusing on constant expansion of already existing functionalities, so at the end the software becomes unmanageable.
There is also a decision-making issue. There is no one to put a dot over the i and most meetings are pretty much fruitless, hence projects drag over months losing on its potential.
Not sure if I am patient enough to work in such environment…