School of Communication and the Arts


Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design (MFA)


Chris Clark


Layout, Design, Japan, Internationalism, Localization, Website, Navigation, User Experience


Art and Design


Over the past few years, web design has undergone significant advancements, resulting in user-friendly and visually appealing websites. However, this rapid growth has forced companies and countries to adapt quickly, leading to diverse design elements that may cause inconsistency and confusion. In particular, Foreign web users struggle to navigate Japanese websites due to dated web design and lack of coherency, leading to a loss of tourism, business, and expatriation. I experienced this firsthand when living abroad in Japan for two years. Many websites were difficult to navigate because of the differences in design and navigation, often leading me to give up on my objective. This research addresses this challenge by analyzing current websites, identifying design patterns, and proposing a navigational tool to enhance user experience. It focuses on developing a navigation tool to help users comfortably explore diverse websites worldwide. Users can easily understand and absorb information by identifying and highlighting similarities in design choices across various sites. This approach aims to foster a connection between users and websites, promoting user retention and enabling sites to thrive in a competitive digital landscape. This paper also discusses localization and internationalization’s impact on user feedback, compares Japanese and American web navigation, and explores different types of navigation design. It underscores the influence of cultural factors on website usability and user experience, emphasizing the need for user-centered design. This research emphasizes the challenges in international web design and navigation, as well as highlights the importance of inclusive design, considering language, symbols, formats, and functionality. Stakeholders, including individuals, institutions, and society, stand to benefit from improved website usability, fostering cross-cultural interactions and transactions. By promoting better practices and inclusivity, the research seeks to enhance website design decisions and create user-friendly experiences for diverse audiences. It uses questionnaires, ethnographic research, and visual research to gather insights into localized website challenges. These methods aim to understand user perspectives, cultural influences, and visual design elements, contributing to comprehensive recommendations.