What Language Does Your Website Speak?

I started trying to write a blog about English sentence structure and how it affects perception, from my memory of a recent conversation, but find I can’t remember the details. I think I’ll need to read about linguistics and grammar to reconstruct the conversation! In lieu of this potential blog, I’ll compare Chinese website design with American website design. Do you have any guesses, before reading on? My quick guesses are: that information will be more condensed, reflecting the economy of space that more Chinese are used to living in,  that colorful reds and blues are popular, since those colors are used in architecture throughout China, that the designs are cute and young looking (I noticed that many products, like makeup for adults, are packaged using candy colors).

So, here’s what I found with a very superficial search: Chinese websites often use eye-watering bright colors, lots and lots of page content (if there isn’t enough content, visitors will leave the site thinking it’s of little value), lots of animation, scrolling text (animation PLUS information), smaller images, decorative embellishment (music, trailing cursors) even on corporate sites. Take a look at this site to see what looks to me like a cross between a newspaper and the Sunday Comics!  Contrast this with one of the most popular website designs in the world, Yahoo. It also has a newspaper layout, but it is much less condensed and less colorful. I suspect this design is popular because it’s organized and utilitarian, not because it is beautiful. Today, I’m working on a project to redesign a home page into a more news-like format. I am looking forward to the challenge, which will be to incorporate the round design of the interior pages with a more grid-like home page, making them look like they go together, for a content-rich page that doesn’t look like a template.