Ishida:We have built Multimedia UX on three core concepts: Superior quality, centralized content management, and Sony ecosystem. In music, a superior quality would provide good audio quality and immediate playback. Centralized management removes pain for looking around various location to find the content you are looking for. Whether it's in the cloud, on a home entertainment server, or on your phone memory, it will be all available at one place. As for ecosystem, we have created new communication entertainment by connecting multimedia and Facebook together, as well as simple home connectivity UX with other devices-something only Sony can offer, as a company that entertains people and encourages communication.
Imamura:A guiding concept for us in UI design was what we call "Dynamic Minimalism", which set the parameters for thorough exploration of an ideal Xperia™ UI and UX. How you use a smartphone obviously varies depending on what you're doing-whether you're viewing information in a widget, intently using an app, or sharing with friends, for instance. For a superior UX, we built on functions that are straightforward in each case and adopted a dynamic UI that changes in response to the content you choose.
Ishida:In the "Walkman" app, for example, playback alone would be enough, but that might seem a little empty. That's why the background changes color to match the cover art. This subtle, content-focused UI change enlivens the listening experience. But because phones are something used every day, we strove to keep the dynamic UI simple and in tune with people's lifestyles.
"WALKMAN", Album, Movie app
de Léon:In touch-based interaction, you'll find the phones responsive to tapping or swiping with your fingers. As you flip through photos in the Album app, you can easily zoom in for a closer look. The app combines browsing and viewing, and it's a breeze to use. Quality was essential to us in all respects, not only in how music sounds or how photos or videos look, but also in how satisfying it is to use the UI.
Ishida:New in these phones is a feature called NFC (Near-Field Communication), which links devices simply by bringing them near each other. Unlike pairing with Bluetooth speakers or headphones by activating Bluetooth, waiting until the devices find each other, and then entering passwords, NFC is automatically triggered just by touching the phone against compatible headphones.
Setup and manual operations are no longer needed. It's as simple as can be. Innovation comes in many forms, but for Xperia™, we set our sights on nothing more than enabling people to do what they want to do, naturally. Rather than calling it "simple," you could say it just works as expected.
Imamura:Anyone can pick up a mobile phone now and make a call without knowing how it works inside and out. Even children interact with touchpads as if it were second nature. This is also the goal of technologies such as NFC. Imagine everyday scenes where music plays on our stereos and photos or videos are displayed on our TV automatically, once we tap a phone against them. We'd like NFC to be this natural for people one day. We hope these technologies become mainstream and form an integral part of everyday smartphone scenarios in the future.
de Léon:In UI design, instead of designing something like a static movie poster for each page or screen users see, another approach is a dynamic UI that responds to touch-screen operations with the sense of narrative found in movies themselves. Most devices today switch screens abruptly, but why can't we incorporate transitions of some kind? Rather than limiting interaction to what's been done before, we're exploring new dimensions of the UI, even for basic operations.
Suzuki:Now that smartphones are central in so many things, a well-integrated UI is more important than ever. Especially because phones are a constant companion, the Xperia™ line offers simplicity that's always appealing in a product offering broad-based connectivity. In design, ensuring a good match between Xperia™ and all that Sony represents makes the phones more useful than ever. This grand design, so to speak, is surely inspiring products and services that are more engaging.