Extending the conversation around its “blood, sweat and tears” process, Nokia’s design team tells the story of the making of its upcoming N97 homescreen. Discovering at the outset that, “of the total time you spend using your mobile phone, on average 85 per cent of that time is spent on your homescreen,” the team went through a robust three step process that consisted of:
- Observation and data gathering on a global scale on perspectives of personalization.
- Exploration of concepts and prototypes, including free-form design from customers.
- Validation and testing of the proposed homescreen.
This is a very simple process that lead to much understanding and gave sound direction to the team. They discovered the extensive appeal of customization and flexibility. After all, this is a communication device and no two people are exactly alike. One thing I appreciated is that the exploration they did included observing people create their own homescreens, and listening to each person’s disntinct requirements. These tidbits may not always end up in the final design of a mass-market product, but they help to shape what it will and won’t be, and give invaluable insight into the end user’s needs.
Nokia also released a 6 minute video that features partial interviews with the creators of the phone. It is certainly a well-produced, marketing video, but dive right in if you’re interested.