It is not a secret that the very first experience for design professionals shape the basics of their design process and determine their style which is shaped and evolved over several years. Most of my design knowledge and expertise was acquired in what I consider one of the best companies in the world – NOKIA. Long before the company’s global standing started to decline (and hopefully today we are seeing its rebirth), I was fortunate to witness the power of a great design organisation which worked so efficiently with engineering and marketing having a very clear and consistent design strategy at all levels of the organisation.
MASS MARKET PRODUCT DESIGN
During my time at NOKIA, I have been assigned as the lead designer to NOKIA C7 smartphone project back in 2009 which was one of the bestselling Nokia phones that year; around 8 million units sold. Our outstanding design team had the design DNA language developed extremely well and I tried to implement it into the C7 project meticulously. We had hundreds of model reviews and hundreds of meetings, many flights to the UK and Lapland (among others) when finally NOKIA C7 became a reality.
The aim of the design was to make the smartphone sleek, thin and undeniably NOKIA with a stainless steel bezel and a gorilla glass screen. The surfaces of C7 are so smooth that once you pick it up you don’t want to let go of it.
MASS APPEAL DESIGN PROCESS
Experience at NOKIA has taught me a lot about how to create mass appealing products. This is the essential and the most difficult task a designer can have. How to design something which is loved by many? How to design something that will have the appeal across cultures and people of different social standings? At the same time, the product must have a strong brand language distinguishable from the competition without being polarising. This takes a lot of effort from both the design and engineering perspectives to find this balance. I think NOKIA C7 is the fine example of how this balance is achieved.
OTHER NOKIA PRODUCT I have designed: