Nokia's UI chief says its new MeeGo interface will change the ways we interact with devices

Nokia's UI chief says its new MeeGo interface will change the ways we interact with devices
At the LeWeb internet conference yesterday, Nokia’s Head of Design and User Experience Marko Ahtisaari clarified what's in store for Nokia and MeeGo for next year. Spoiler alert - "in terms of the dominant design, we are still at the beginning" - they actually have no idea where they are going with it, and are seemingly trying to take the best out of iOS, Symbian, Android and WP7.

He talked about the different user interface approaches on touchscreen devices as if it is some philosophical exercise, and Nokia doesn't really need to start acting on its own, making changes here and now. He basically separated the available routes in four - Apple with its simple home button-applications interface, Android with its homescreens and widgets, Windows Phone 7 with the "more glance and go, less stop and stare" concept, and the Nokia way. As far as we grasped the company might be taking a page from WP7 and Android when going ahead with MeeGo. To quote him:

"You’ll see couples in coffee shops who’ve been together 10-15 years both sat with their heads down, operating their devices. We need to give people their head up again. The ability to keep social interaction with the people that they’re physically with. That means a better ability to use the devices single-handed and them requiring less of our attention for peripheral interactions. Notifications, for example, could be much improved so they require much less from us.

The second big influence for the most competitive devices will be the way they are able to harness the collective intelligence of their users... Smartphone users create a lot of data. We can use that data to make the devices more intelligent: for example, to avoid traffic jams and create alternative routes... But it’s not just maps, as we have more sensors on the device we can answer almost any question. The research on collective intelligence says that it needs a large, independent, diverse group of people to solve problems – that’s what we’ve got."

Sounds like a plan, but the point is that he wants a totally different concept for MeeGo on Nokia phones, which will take a lot of time. Why not just start with what you've got, and introduce changes along the way? Hopefully by 2011 Marko Ahtisaari means the first half, and we are sure the new management realizes the urgency to introduce a great high-margin handset with innovative UI that people will fall in love with. The Finns certainly have the talent pool and the ability to start from scratch now, so the news coming from Nokia's camp in the next few months should be interesting. Below is a short video where the above points are summarized by the guy in charge himself.

source: NokiaConversations


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