8 UX learnings from anime: I bet you didn’t notice

4 min readMay 6, 2023

YOKOSO! to the worlds of UX design and anime! Who would have imagined there would be such a strong connection between these two seemingly disparate worlds? I have discovered some amazing UX design principles that anime has been teaching us all along as a professional UX designer and an anime lover. So grab some popcorn, strap in, and get ready to learn about UX design in a way you’ve never experienced before!

1). The importance of storytelling

Anime is renowned for its distinctive narrative strategies, which frequently feature intricate storylines, surprising turns, and characters with rich backstories. Attack on Titan is a fantastic example of storytelling. Similar to that, narrative plays a big role in UX design. A skilled user experience (UX) designer should be able to tell a compelling tale that leads the user through the product or service, emphasising its capabilities and advantages while also fostering a sense of emotional connection.

2). The power of simplicity

Complex ideas and concepts are often made simple to comprehend and follow in anime. The well-known anime series One Punch Man is a good example of minimalism in animation. Saitama, the star of the programme, has the ability to beat any foe with a single blow. For UX design, the same is true. A skilled user experience (UX) designer should be able to deconstruct complicated information and display it in a way that is simple for the user to comprehend and use. The best designs are frequently the simplest ones since they lighten the user’s cognitive burden and let them concentrate on the job at hand.

3). The importance of empathy

Characters in anime are frequently shown going through relatable problems, which makes it simple for viewers to identify with them. The anime series Your Lie in April is a superb illustration of empathy in animation. The story centres on a little child who has given up playing the piano since his mother passed away. The programme excels in making the viewer experience the character’s suffering and tribulations, forging a strong emotional bond with the viewer.
As the designer must be able to put oneself in the user’s position and comprehend their requirements and frustrations, UX design also calls for empathy. The UX designer may develop goods and services that satisfy customers’ wants and deliver a great user experience by comprehending the user’s point of view.

4). The value of feedback

Characters in anime frequently get criticism from their peers, mentors, or opponents, which helps them develop and get better. Haikyuu!! is an excellent example of it. Similar to this, UX design mainly relies on user feedback. UX designers can pinpoint problems, make changes, and provide goods and services that satisfy customers by listening to user input.

5). The importance of consistency

The aesthetic and tone of anime is frequently continuous throughout the whole series, giving the viewer a sense of comfort and familiarity. The anime series Naruto serves as an illustration of consistency in animation. Users want a consistent experience across all channels and touchpoints, hence consistency is also necessary for UX design. UX designers can produce a smooth user experience that is simple to use by upholding a consistent design language.

6). The value of experimentation

Characters that attempt new things, take chances, and try different things are frequently found in anime. The anime series Cowboy Bebop is a prime example of anime experimentation. The programme combines genres, including sci-fi, western, and noir, to produce a distinctive and avant-garde aesthetic that sets it apart from other anime of the era. In order to discover the optimal solution for the user, designers must be open to experimenting with new concepts and methods. UX designers may determine the best approach to satisfy user demands and produce a pleasant user experience by experimenting with various designs.

7). The importance of accessibility

Anime frequently has dubbing or subtitles to make the content available to a worldwide audience. The anime series One Piece serves as a prime illustration of accessibility in animation. The programme is available to viewers worldwide thanks to its multilingual dubbing. To ensure that everyone can enjoy the content, the programme also includes subtitles for those who are hard of hearing. In a similar vein, accessibility must be prioritised in UX design in order to make goods and services usable by those with impairments or those who speak different languages. UX designers may develop a product or service that is inclusive and usable by anybody by designing with accessibility in mind.

8). The value of emotion

Anime frequently forges an emotional bond with the viewer, evoking feelings ranging from happiness to grief. The anime series Fullmetal Alchemist serves as an illustration of emotion in the medium. The piece deals with weighty issues like grief, giving up something, and finding redemption; as a result, the audience develops an emotional bond that lasts long after the performance. In a similar vein, UX design calls on designers to build an emotional bond with the user by inspiring feelings of enjoyment, fulfilment, and even joy. UX designers may build a product or service that not only satisfies the user’s wants but also fosters pleasant emotional experiences by designing with emotion in mind.

So there you have it, folks — eight UX design lessons you can learn from anime. Who knew that anime could be so educational? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to binge-watch some shows for “research purposes.” Until next time, keep designing and keep watching!

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