Building products and services around the customer perspective

User experience is an essential aspect of quality at Sony. In order to gain an accurate understanding of the increasingly diverse needs of customers and to deliver a superior user experience, Sony has adopted Human- Centered Design (HCD) processes and ensures that its design efforts always take the customer's perspective.

Human-Centered Design Process

Using Human-Centered Design in Product and Service Development

Sony is working to improve product usability and create experiences that meet the core needs of customers. It conducts worldwide user research including home visits and user interviews. These efforts are part of a continuing cycle of issue identification and product improvement, which includes prototyping and usability testing in the upstream stage of design. Employees also conduct long-term usage surveys, including interviews with customers, both before and after product release. In addition, Sony analyzes how customers feel and behave when they use a service, and then works to improve the user experience by sharing customer feedback with relevant personnel.

Example of HCD (Human-Centered Design) initiatives in products and services

Systems for User Research and Testing

Sony has built an environment and established systems that ensure user research and testing can be carried out quickly and efficiently via group-wide collaboration spanning sites in Japan, North America, Europe, India, and China. Via steps such as the introduction of online systems, it ensures that the necessary user research and testing can be carried out in spite of the physical constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. There is also an internal monitor program through which employees and their families participate in questionnaire surveys, interviews, and usability tests. These systems and programs enable Sony to deliver a superior user experience and keep creating products that are easy to use.

A scene from Usability testing

Formulating Internal Standards and Applying Acquired Expertise

Product and service designers from across the Sony Group meet to formulate standards for interactions, use of words and icons on devices and screens, and so on. The knowledge gained through user research and testing, the expertise of the product development departments, and case studies of the application of UX (user experience) design are shared across the Group, as well. These standards and expertise are posted on Sonyʼs internal portal site to ensure that everyone at the Sony Group has access to them. This information is used in product and service development as Sony continues to work to enhance usability for customers.

Human Resource Development and Awareness-raising Activities on HCD

In order to continue delivering a superior user experience, Sony launched a system in 2021 to certify employees with a high level of expertise and experience as HCD experts. These experts will play a leading role in the workplace. Eight HCD experts were certified in the first phase, and Sony is working to ensure that HCD becomes further entrenched in development departments.
Sony provides internal training so that not only experts but also development site personnel and leaders can acquire the needed skills to help deliver experiences that better meet the needs of customers.
People with HCD skills are also being actively hired in order to increase the number of employees with a high degree of expertise who are ready to lead customer-focused initiatives. In order to further deepen employee understanding of HCD, Sony also holds timely lectures and events open to all employees featuring internal and external experts. Through these activities, employees involved in various aspects of product and service creation are working to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to master HCD.



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