Future-facing projects across UX, strategy and research
75% of my work at Sony is within ‘Advanced Design’, where we look into the near future to explore new technologies and potential opportunities. Focussing on driving innovation and defining new products and services, my role is roughly split into two parts:
1) Using high level research and analysis to identify insights and future opportunities.
2) Designing products, services and strategies that react to these opportunities.
Finding use cases for new technologies
A part of my work I really enjoy is exploring how new technologies can be applied to innovative use cases and solutions. Sony is an engineering driven company that develops a lot of new and exciting technology internally, but it's not always clear how it translates into a product or service. One of my tasks is proposing ways of utilising our technology to create real value for the user.
Translating high level research into solutions
One of the most crucial parts of any innovation process is turning an opportunity into a clear, definable concept, and here I work somewhere between a designer and a strategist. I look to identify areas of opportunity that could work for Sony's strategy going forward, and and a big part of this is trying to see how societal attitudes and trends are likely to shift in the future. These insights can come from many sources - research trips, interviews, conferences, trend reports, newsletters, observations and analysis, etc…
Defining new markets and user groups
When starting work on developing a future product, I'll identify some of the potential markets and key user groups for it. This is where the user research tools start getting thrown around, and I'll use methods such as value-driven personas, user journeys, jobs-to-be-done, competitor analysis, and more.
Product strategy and design direction
An example of this would be designing and running a workshop that looked to define strategic insights and clear design directions for one of Sony’s key 2020 product lines. These projects require an understanding of both external and internal contexts, and an important aspect is always creating a clear understanding between the design and business teams, explaining how strategic insights translate into concepts.