User Research in Japan

Get the insights you need to help 
your product speak to users in Japan.

Coordinating international user research is hard, and Japan is no exception. With unique consumer preferences and business practices, finding the right people and asking the right questions takes an expert.

AQ has a decade of experience practicing user research and design in Japan. From recruiting through reporting, we help you understand how users in Japan respond to your product.

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Contextual inquiry

We draw insights from the everyday lives of people – how they work, learn, play and socialize. Whether it’s a family at home planning a trip or a busy team in the workplace, we can place you there.

See how we helped Lookout

Usability Testing

We interview users to assess whether your product is understood by real users, and deliver UX issues and recommendations, with the cultural context you need to interpret them.

See how we helped Lumosity

Benchmarking and expert review

We review your existing product or prototype alongside competitors in Japan, and deliver actionable design recommendations, as well as the cultural background to build an understanding of the market.

See how we helped eBay

Everything you thought of,
and the rest.

Before the test

  • Prototype localization
  • Recruiting & scheduling
  • Protocol writing

During the test

  • Native Japanese moderation
  • Test facilities & logistics
  • Simultaneous interpretation

After the test

  • Synthesis facilitation
  • Reporting in English or Japanese
  • Video editing & transcription

Our approach

Our research process is built around three principles.

Respect the individual

Research is an invitation into people’s lives. Our first responsibility is to ensure our team and yours fully respect the privacy and humanity of the people we learn from.

Design for local context

When we join an international research effort, we work with our partners to interpret broad research goals into a protocol that makes sense within the local culture.

Tell stories that travel

Every organization has its own way of telling stories and building shared wisdom, and research reporting should be packaged and channeled accordingly.

Our clients

We've led research projects with a diverse
range of clients in Japan and abroad.

Lookout's San Francisco based research team was reviewing market fit in Japan ahead of a product overhaul. Joining their first research project in Japan, we conducted home interviews with Japanese consumers to understand their habits and views on technology, personal information and safety. We also prepared and tested a prototype of the product onboarding experience.

Ahead of their Japanese market entry, we localized Lumosity’s onboarding and core product, and interviewed potential consumers to assess usability and uncover cultural attitudes and context brought to the experience. We also delivered a competitor assessment in the brain training space.

Ahead of the Japan launch of a new online classifieds product, we briefed the product team on Japanese aesthetics, social concepts, and competitors following a series of interviews with Japanese consumers and desk research. We also provided recommendations on the product’s design, information architecture and branding.

We’ve worked with these companies


Ready to start?

Tell us your research goals and we'll help you plan the project.

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