Feature Design Sony Tablet
Feature Design Sony Tablet

Tracing out what tablets represent, for all to see

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Fukamatsu:“Sony Tablet” S and “Sony Tablet” P were developed with an earnest wish to offer tablet computers worthy of the Sony name. Toward this end, we created a key visual to convey what the tablets stand for. This is the video clip played at startup, the first thing you'll see after turning the tablet on.

One topic we wanted to present was making content in the "cloud" real and tangible. Tablets are nothing more than a gateway to entertainment, and beyond this gateway lies a vast trove of content online. To express this, we chose a stroke of light as conceptually significant in the key visual.

Turn “Sony Tablet” on, and a point of light is displayed that soon traces a luminous path, moving faster. It's a spark of unbridled curiosity against a dark cloud. When the spark finally turns into bright desktop wallpaper, it symbolizes that you have entered the world of real entertainment. The spark also hints at the idea that on a tablet, everything starts with a touch, while the ribbon of light represents the unfurling of inspiration.

We incorporated this key visual in the startup video, wallpaper, and even the packaging, getting the message of "cloud to real" across in both static and dynamic images.

The Sony brand of thoughtfulness

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Ichimura:Packaging is a vital point of contact that links consumers and products. We considered how the packaging could convey Sony's customary thoughtfulness. Working with the manual design team, we sought to make the packaging a little special.

Our first goal: have the tablet appear as soon as people open the cover and pick up the Quick Start Guide. What's new in this packaging is our attempt to present the steps before you turn the tablet on in easy-to-follow illustrations on the back of the cover. We thought our regard for consumers would be clear in this gesture, which helps you begin using the tablet immediately, even without looking at the manual.

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Ono:What do new “Sony Tablet” owners want to do right away? I'm sure that as soon as they open the box, they want to pick up the tablet and try it out. They won't look at manuals, if they don't need to. In this respect, keeping the manuals out of the way is a thoughtful gesture with the user perspective in mind. It's a strange thing for me to admit, in my role in charge of manuals.

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“Sony Tablet” UI is superb, and all you need to do to get started is turn the tablet on. The rest will be intuitive as you use it. That's why we kept printed manuals to a minimum, limiting it to the information needed before startup. The illustrations on the back of the cover, showing the steps before turning the tablet on, represent our attempt in this direction. We carefully considered the illustrations. Would simple line drawings or realistic illustrations be better? How many steps should be presented? We created a few versions and conducted several user tests.

Although we narrowed it down to steps nearly anyone can follow easily, we also included a Quick Start Guide for those who might need more information. This guide includes the same illustrations as on the back of the cover, enlarged here and there and accompanied by fuller text descriptions. It also describes how to charge the battery, so using the tablet is sure to go smoothly. A final addition is instructions on accessing the online help guide, to lead those seeking further assistance to resources after startup.

Ichimura:It may be a minor detail, but “Sony Tablet” P packaging is designed to show the battery as soon as you lift the tablet out. Batteries are usually stowed at the bottom of the box with the AC adapter and other accessories, but here, too, we wanted to help new owners start using the tablet right away.

Both “Sony Tablet” S and “Sony Tablet” P packaging shows the tablets against a white background so that the products stand out. The cover wraps around the box, forming a tray, which keeps the appearance neat while making the boxes easy to put together.

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Shimizu:The customizability of tablets may make some manufacturers give up on seeking a distinctive user experience and settle for trying to distinguish their models by thinness, lightness, or different styling. These tablets will probably lose their charm quickly.

“Sony Tablet” is a different story. They offer a fresh user experience both in functions and in access to content. Tablets still hold great potential in untapped development and entertainment possibilities, and “Sony Tablet” is proof of this.

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