July 03, 2012
Sony Mobile was recently awarded four Red Dot awards for product design, as well as an honorable mention. The international awards committee evaluates the degree of innovation, ergonomics, durability and ecological soundness of devices. Sony's Xperia Active, Xperia Ion, the Smart Wireless Headset Pro and the Ion's SmartDock were included among the winners, with the Xperia Ray awarded an honorable mention for appearance and device interface design usability.
"Design is at the heart of Sony Mobile's product development philosophy and these awards are testament to the design quality of our Xperia smartphones and Smart Accessories, demonstrating our commitment to offering consumers a rich smartphone experience without sacrificing on functionality or design," said Jeanna Kimbré, director of creative product design for Sony Mobile Communications.
The Active won for its rugged yet stylish design, while the other winners were recognized for maintaining simple, minimalistic and ergonomic style. Usability and functionality are as greatly affected by physical aspects as they are by graphical user interface designs - a point apparently not lost on Sony's designers.
The Xperia Ion in particular was praised for its "contrast between the black display and aluminum backside, creating a high-quality appearance enhanced by precision workmanship."
When it comes to smartphones and their related peripherals, it is important to maintain consistency throughout the product and GUI design, in addition to durability, style and the other factors that the Xperia devices were rated on. This can improve the overall user experience, as well as the accessibility of the device.
Other winners of the 2012 Red Dot Product Design awards include the iPad 2 and its Smart Cover and the HTC Incredible 2, as well as non-computing companies such as Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and KONE.
Dating to 1955, the Red Dot Product Design awards are among the most prestigious design competitions in the world. The awards are focused on physical design, which also factors into the usability of computing products as well, which is a major part of overall device interface development.
When creating a high-end product like a smartphone, tablet or laptop, a company has to factor in how its customers use the product, and design the hardware for maximum functionality as well as style. Integrating the design of the product with the UI design improves the user experience and helps establish stronger satisfaction overall.