GLOBAL – If there’s one thing we enjoy more than launching a new product, it’s talking to the designers behind them. Last week we launched three new devices, the Nokia 600, the Nokia 700 and the Nokia 701. We’ve spent some time talking to Giuseppe Russo, Design Specialist of the Industrial Design Team who worked on the Nokia 600. Let’s find out what went on behind the scenes.
What exactly does a designer for Nokia do?
Being a designer at Nokia has a mixture of functions. Designing devices and mobile experiences is an activity that pulls many things together, such as knowing the users and their desires, hardware and software technologies, services and markets, production and distribution, and several more. We work closely with the R&D and hardware teams to create and develop our ideas, sometimes many years ahead. Ultimately, the aim is to combine all the bits together to create a great user experience where hardware and UI (User Interface) work together as are a whole.
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What were the challenges you faced when designing the Nokia 600?
Great performance and accessibility; the main challenge with this particular design was to create a phone with a strong appeal, that was desirable and aspirational with its hardware and performance while also making it affordable at the same time. One of our primary tasks was to make this device accessible for people just starting out with a smartphone and in particular, people in the emerging markets. We wanted the device to be expressive but clean all together, and we decided to keep the part-count down and reduce the splits to make the phone more solid. Specifically the front of the device shows this approach with a seamless surface that flows down to the sides without interruptions.
Doing more with less makes for a simple, iconic and attractive phone. The new Symbian Belle user interface is brought to the fore in the display centric front of the device. This is complemented by the soft and tactile back that feels great to hold, and is comfortable in your pocket.
Why did you opt for the curved back design?
The Nokia 600 is predominantly targeted to a younger market, so people who are maybe more active than others. Portability and one-hand use are often strong necessities for them and the curved back fits comfortably even into smaller hands, making it easy to reach every area of the screen. This is celebrated by the side arc between front and back, which is the product signature and bonds the human (soft ergonomic back) and the technological (interactive front).
Why did you chose the colors that have been chosen for the Nokia 600?
The colors are a very important part of the design story. Of course, black and dark colors are always a good basic colour, but we wanted the Nokia 600 to express some attitude, so we decided on these vibrant colours.
In terms of the entire design process, what changes take place from start to finish.
It takes a long time for a phone to be created from start to finish. At the beginning the Nokia 600 did look slightly different but the overall feel of the phone is the same. Some changes and adjustments to the design are typically necessary as we move ahead with the development end we go into the testing phases. This phone is basically an evolution of the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic and the Nokia X6. Both were built with the young music-lovers in mind.
What do you think of the design of the Nokia 600? Share your thoughts in the comments below.