Wow, what a way to end the week here at Websmart. We found out on August 1st, from Robert Mathers at Heart Internet, that we have won their Silver Award for our work on the Sony Aibo website. We knew the website was something special and to have that confirmed by this prestigious award is fantastic for everyone here in our King’s Lynn studio.
What makes receiving a Heart Internet award so great is that it comes from a company with an outstanding reputation within its field. Founders Tim Beresford and Jonathan Brealey are well known for establishing Webfusion and its stable mate 123-reg, before going on to create Heart Internet in 2004 as a source of domain names, Linux hosting and reseller hosting, and free web hosting. Besides winning the Heart Internet Silver Award, working on the Sony Aibo website was challenging but real fun project, too.
When we first began talking and planning how to design a website for this ‘uber’ high tech company, renowned for its sleek design and cutting edge AI and electronics, we knew the style, images and content would have to be equally crisp and ultra-modern.
Oh, what I forget to mention is that the website was to be the internet home of amazingly advanced and ridiculously adorable robot pets called AIBOs.
AIBO stands for Artificial Intelligence robot but coincidentally is the Japanese word for friend or companion.
What had started out for Sony as a research project had turned into a whole new ‘species’ of pet.
Our job was to combine details of the almost unbelievable level of artificial intelligence and robotic achievements with an attractive presentation of robo-pets which can actually learn, respond, act like real pets – and make people happy.
We took into account the brand image of Sony, too, keeping the pages distinctively mono with light use of a limited colour palette to highlight navigation. I am not sure what was most enjoyable – finding out how far robotics and AI had come or setting up the ‘find a new home for your AIBO’ page.
When finished, I knew that exactly the right balance had been achieved by Websmart and the wow-factor of the product was beautifully showcased by our web design.
Were there any issues which came up when designing this site that we hadn’t expected?
Only one – we found ourselves wanting our own AIBO in the Websmart office.
This is what Heart Internet had to say about what we achieved in the development and design of the Sony Aibo website:-
‘We felt that Sony Aibo truly deserved their success in our recent Website of the Month competition. The site’s layout is extremely straightforward and creates an intuitive browsing experience that is backed up by stylish and simplistic design that shows the innovative and creative values behind the Sony Aibo products.’ Heart Internet web hosting