Using a variety of research practices, MetaDesign audited product packaging, point-of-sale presence, online presence, and offline advertising for Sony USA Consumer Electronics products including notebooks, televisions, cameras, camcorders, and home entertainment systems. MetaDesign presented research insights to the Sony management team that came from many customer and stakeholder interviews, internal workshops, in-store observations and analysis of online social networks.
Visualizing the challenges facing Sony, the research revealed that many of the traditional attributes of the Sony brand – in particular high quality and innovation – were still important to customers, but were being lost in a myriad of sub-brands, logotypes and stock images. The company’s ‘branded house,’ which had been a strategic and differentiating advantage for decades, was becoming a growing ‘house of brands’ with little connection to the core brand promise.
The research triggered an internal re-evaluation of the Sony design guidelines and an initial project to redesign the user experience of the VAIO product line on the SonyStyle.com website. Taking a cue from the sophisticated design language of Sony notebooks, MetaDesign redesigned the processes of researching, comparing, configuring and purchasing. The result was a simple, elegant and powerful experience consistent with customers’ expectations of the Sony brand.
Through an audit of the Sony brand, four distinct findings were surfaced and grouped into categories. For each area of focus, the findings from the audit were presented, along with strategic recommendations, to close the gaps between brand aspirations and the brand reality.
The brand audit and recommendations were then documented to help the consumer electronics giant regain and sustain brand preference.
In addition to in-depth wireframes, interaction schematics, and design layouts, detailed annotations were also provided, defining content areas, photography styles, and product representation.
Frontal icon views of the notebooks functionally profile and specify Sony VAIO products. Dynamic rollover effects within the product comparison slider provide informative quick looks that streamline the information-gathering and comparison process.
The improved design immediately resulted in increased sales conversions and a faster time-to-purchase for customers. As a result, the interface and information design is to be implemented by Sony across other product lines sold online.
“MetaDesign created an interaction and visual design for Sony customers that combines sophistication with simplicity. With the new design, shopping for a notebook online reflects the aesthetics and ease-of use of an actual Sony VAIO.”Brian Beaver, VP Creative Director, Sony