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Project Background:

Conducting UX testing for the renewal of the Japan website of one of the world's leading financial news websites.

Project Goals:

  1. Understanding Japanese user’s first impressions of the new website design
  2. Exploring what information Japanese users expect from financial news websites
  3. Understanding Japanese user’s habits and preferences related to financial news websites
  4. Testing the translation and visual layout and identifying opportunities for localization improvements


Duration: 1 month

Users Studied: 12 (Qualitative Study)

Team Members: Myself (UX researcher), Client-side Project Manager, Designer and Engineer

Methods: Qualitative User Interviews/Moderated User Tests

Deliverables: Translated Transcripts, Videos of User Tests, Findings & Recommendations Report (Including interview quotes, theme analysis etc.)


1. Client Alignment

  • Held meetings with client to understand their goals for the project.
  • Translated screener and discussion guide into Japanese, making to ensure cultural match.

2. Participant Recruiting

  • Recruited Japanese user test participants through local recruiting partner
  • Mix of high income individuals who invest and regularly use financial news websites

3. Moderated User Tests

  • Conducted 12 sessions with Japanese users over Zoom, consisting of both user interviews and short users tests where participants completed tasks with the new design

4. Analysis and Final Report

  • English transcripts were created for all interviews
  • Results were analyzed by theme to highlight common findings
  • Specific recommendations were provided to improve the design to better match the needs of Japanese users, and allow the website to better compete with local competitors.

Selected Findings

Participants found the site layout to be different to sites they are used to (Yahoo! News and Nikkei), with comparatively low information density and large text/photos, but commented that it is easy to use and navigate.
They prefer to have as much information as possible on the first view of the homepage, as they are used to being able to glance at the headlines on Yahoo News.
Participants also wanted the ability to customize the information shown on the homepage, as to show information that they are most interested in first.
They thought that the site would be perfect for when they had specific information that they were looking for, and that they would continue using Yahoo News when they just wanted to browse.

Client Comment

"Maxwell is a super effective, practical and responsive UX researcher. He provided an end to end solution for our study in Japan, from recruiting through to insights and translations."


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