Current Events

Mobile in Japan – ON FIRE!

comScore released their Mobile Year in Review report for 2010 which, for some reason, includes Japan for the first time this year. Japan has been years ahead of other markets for some time now and their findings, summarized in the graph above, confirm that. In their words, Japan is, “perhaps one of the most mature and sophisticated mobile markests int he world.” Other highlights:

  • In December 2010 (that’s just 31 days folks!) 9.8 million users in Japan made a purchase using their mobile wallet software embedded in their phone. 9.8 million!
  • 76.8% used “connected media” vs. 46 % in the US and 41% in the EU. I have a tweet into @comscore to get details on how they define “connected media” and will update when I hear back.

I clearly have to figure out how to get my butt over to Japan.

Update : I never did hear back from ComScore but Rudy De Waele of @mtrends helpfully defines connected media as “browsed, accessed applications, or downloaded content” which basically means email, games, streaming video, and any application that pulls down bits from the network. Makes me wonder what the remaining 59% in the EU and 54% in US are doing on their phone. Voice, SMS, and Snake?

Current Events

Japanese Train Infographics

Japanese trains are the paragon of efficiency. During peak rush hour, 11-car commuter trains rumble in and out of stations at 90-second intervals. There is no room for error. Everyone needs to know where to go.

So, when the trains were fitted with interactive displays, on the inside, over each doorway, information designers set to work jamming them with useful information for their captive audience.

Yamanote Line Infographic

In the graphic above, which switches between Japanese and English, you see the following pieces of information:

  1. Destination of train and next stop.
  2. Car number.
  3. Location of stairs, escalators, and elevators in relation to your car and which exit they lead to.
  4. Which side doors will open at the next station (important if you need to start squeezing your way through the crowd to get out).
  5. Name of other train lines served by the next station.

That’s a lot of information to absorb. The efficiency of information design has caught the eye of a blogger at Sun as well. A couple more examples below.

Showing destination and car number.
Showing destination and minutes to next station
Showing next station and minutes to each station on the line.
Showing which side doors open at the next station.