Marko Ahtisaari is Global Head of Design of Nokia. He was interviewed recently by our correspondent on the occasion of unveiling ceremony of Nokia N9 smartphone in Dubai. Following is the excerpt of his interview.
Nokia wants to give customers a whole product story with all perfectly aligned features which reflects in N9 smartphone designs, colour and tools. The innovation is at the heart of our strategy and with the N9, so we reinvented the home key with a simple gesture: a swipe from the edge of the screen.
It took around year and a half to design the N9 keeping in view trends and users demand in smartphones market.
Nokia has made strategic choice to join hands with Microsoft for Windows Phone 7, further more , the new Symbian Belle is here with an all new user experience with Android Nokia does not think they can differentiate and make something better.
Nokia always encourage people to buy from local authorized distributors however making something like N9 is not an easy task and he has already seen first copies of the phone in China however they have 4 keys on the main screen, split marks and without Swipe , they may look like N9 but the experience is not there.
Nokia architectures’ team has worked on how to improve the user experience and as the designer they wanted so many things to be further added but user experience was paramount basis of design.
It is setting new rules of the game with the pattern of multiple home screens, snappy response from the phone and brining SWIPE to multiple products .With Windows Phone Mango, beautiful live tiles and panoramic view, the next year and a half is all about user experience and is based on where Nokia stands in the industry
The company has planed to install features of regional languages in its smartphones. In this regard, Arabic language is being tested before launching.
Nokia is also brining multiple keyboards on the same screen which can be changed by a sliding them back and forth so using multiple languages in the same text is much easier.
There were many challenges and the main was users’ perspective in the early phases of design when people were told about it, their thinking was that N9 is not a smart phone as it does not have live widgets. Now that was one type of user interface people associate smart phones with , our challenge was to make room in people’s mind that there are better designs and Nokia immediately had the proto devices in hand to show that they are not done innovating and evolving the phone.