Iriya:Windows® 8 is the first desktop OS developed with a focus on touch-screen control. It calls for the development of user interfaces and applications designed primarily for touch interaction. This is only in VAIO® Tap 20, but one day across the entire VAIO® line. The operating system also introduces a totally new Windows® user interface to access touch-based applications. Although this new Windows® user interface establishes basic design guidelines, we still faced a significant task in building on them to develop a platform faithful to Sony ideals.
We began by creating a unified design language for Sony software in the context of new Windows® user interface. For example, on screens with rows of tiles representing applications, you can tell at a glance which ones are ours by the bar behind the name. This is a unified design element. You'll also find consistent icons across various Sony applications, such as a standard Play button. This follows internal rules we established for graphics. In fact, the design rules are not only for VAIO® computers but also for products in other categories, such as tablets and Xperia phones. Even if each Sony application serves a different purpose, we ensured a consistent look and feel in Windows® 8, and made sure they all provide the same Sony experience.
With touch operations and signature Sony style in mind, we focused on six main applications during development. The first, Music application, is for listening. The second, Album application, is for straightforward photo viewing. Audio and video are combined in the third, VAIO Movie Creator, which is for making home movies. User support is what the fourth one, VAIO Care, is all about. News and communication are central in the last two: VAIO Message shares news from Sony, and Socialife™ helps you manage and view a range of information from SNS sites and news feeds. Each application can be controlled by touch. Because VAIO Care was originally for desktop use, we kept the features that make it a convenient desktop program while adding new, touch-friendly ones, making it a kind of hybrid application. In contrast, Socialife™ is a new application developed entirely around touch control. It required an interface that can be used across the whole VAIO® line, and we had to put a lot of effort into testing it.
Shoji:In Socialife™ interface design, we maintained usability in touch operations with tiles by adapting the size and number of tiles to the screen size of each device, one by one. We also ensured versatility by having the program generate an easy-to-read layout after analyzing content. For example, text is easier to read in text-heavy content. Photos are more prominent in content where photos are central. Hot news is displayed larger than other articles. This is an original approach, developed by Sony.
After considering what's special about SNS, we devised a particular color scheme that may remind you of relaxing at a café and paging through a magazine. In essence, Socialife™ adjusts background and text colors; maintaining a balance with the color of posters' icons, so thumbnail colors vary by person. Still, it would be tiring to read pages dominated by high-contrast color combinations such as black and white, so we incorporate grays or nuance colors to soften the appearance.
Socialife™ My Stream screen
Development of touch-based applications has just begun. We're also seeing the emergence of unprecedented scenarios, such as the group usage envisioned for VAIO® Tap 20. I look forward to developing innovative new applications true to Sony ideals.
Shimizu:Communicating with friends or family members has traditionally involved talking with them face-to-face, and it seems wrong to have hardware in the middle. In this sense, electronics are an unneeded presence. Still, VAIO® Tap 20 has the potential to spark communication in a group through unique applications, while quietly keeping the focus on the group. By making computers engaging, more open, and more enjoyable, we can also change communication—for the better. The pioneering VAIO® Tap 20 is the first computer to fulfill a role that many future computers may be designed for.