Nokiaâ€™s Head of Design, Marko Ahtisaari spoke to Wired about the new Nokia Lumia 920. Noting that the company has moved design as central to product decision making process (see the microSD card issue), he said â€˜This [handset] looks less like a product coming off a production line in a factory than a product that might have grown on a tree.â€™
â€œOur products are human,â€ he says. â€œTheyâ€™re natural. Theyâ€™re never cold. Thatâ€™s partly driven by colour, but also partly how they feel in the hand. The grandest way I could put it, is post-industrial.â€
â€œNothing else looks like this in a phone store,â€ he says of the 920. â€œItâ€™s very, very, very organic. Itâ€™s almost super-organic, the way itâ€™s sculpted and tapered at the ends, its pillowy back. But [it’s] one polycarbonate mono-body, with inherently polymer colours. And this 2-D sculpted Gorilla Glass flows beautifully into the body. We assemble it like putting a ship into a bottle, essentially snapping it into place.â€
He noted that the Metro UI meshed perfectly with Nokiaâ€™s hardware designs.
â€œIt was a one-to-one mapping,â€ he says.
Talking about working with Nokia, Microsoftâ€™s design guru Albert Shum said: â€œWe work together like peanut butter and jam.â€ He labelled the joint design language as â€œHonest, authentic, familiar, approachable. Warm. Delightful.â€
An example of the way the two teams worked is the colour coding thatâ€™s reflected in both software and hardware. Microsoft made sure that the colours that Nokia chose are reflected in the userâ€™s screen as well. â€œWe spent a lot of time matching the colours,â€ says Shum. â€œFor instance, the highlighted text in e-mail is the same colour as the pigment of the phone. It takes a lot of work to do that â€” it not only has to match, it has to be readable.â€
Ahtisaari was aware that the company was directly challenging Apple for the design crown, but noted â€œThe best way you can show respect for competition is to do something meaningfully better.â€
Looking at the mediocre design of the leaked iPhone 5 compared with the already iconic Lumia 920 we can certainly say he succeeded.
Read the full article at Wired.com here.