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 and overseas.
Through steps such as the introduction of online systems, it has ensured that the necessary user research and testing can be carried out in spite of physical constraints such as those imposed during 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.
Product and service designers from across the Sony Group meet to formulate guidelines for elements such as interactions, use of words and icons on screens. Some of these aspects are also included in Sony Group's quality standards, which are quality requirements that products and services must comply with. As such, they are continuously managed and implemented through the quality management system.
The knowledge gained through user research and testing, the expertise of the product development departments, and case studies of the application of user experience (UX) design are shared across the Group as well.
Documentation containing the relevant guidelines and expertise is posted on Sonyâs 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.
In order to further deepen employee understanding of HCD, Sony also holds lectures open to all employees featuring internal and external experts and provides an e-learning course for all employees covering HCD.
It is also working to hire and train employees with HCD-related skills.
Sony is continuously implementing programs to develop employees who are ready to lead customer-focused initiatives, including training to learn techniques for creating experiences that reflect customersâ needs and systematic study of HCD processes and methods over the course of approximately six months. 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.
In 2021, Sony launched a system to certify employees with a high level of expertise and experience as HCD experts. These experts will play a leading role in the workplace. Five HCD experts were certified in 2022, and Sony is working to ensure that HCD becomes further entrenched in development departments.