Nokia's MeeGo to have new UI Paradigm, break away from traditional like WP7; MeeGo will ship only when it is ready and AMAZING!

| December 9, 2010 | 25 Replies

Marko Ahtisaari, Nokia SVP design speaks at Le Web conference about the new Nokia MeeGo UI. There’s also a Q&A and a little post interview video. In the Q&A when asked about when, and if better than iPhone, Marko says 2011, only when MeeGo and this supposed new paradigm or “pattern” in the UI is AMAZING! I’m so happy to hear that. I’ve maintained that unless MeeGo is remarkable/awesome it is fail. It can’t just be a catch up (which Marko talks about). Bring something new and innovate.

There’s a little bit of a transcript for the first video and a lot more for the second video which tells us a lot more about what’s coming in MeeGo and the general mobile environment, discussing WP7, iPhone and the Cupertino Distortion Field and Android. There’s the usual Nokia Android question which is not bluntly denied, opening the question (to me anyway) about WP7 on Nokia. We’ve already got a Nokia powered windows machine with Booklet 3G.

This is quite a long post but there’s quite a few nuggets of MeeGo info to digest.

[vodpod id=Video.5085124&w=425&h=350&fv ]

  • False impression that all innovation is done and dominant design for smartphone OS is already here.
  • Smartphone OS and UI have not yet reached final stages, we’re just at the beginning
  • Two UI candidates,
    • iOS elegant and simple (screens full of apps and home key)
    • Fastest growing model: customizable homescreen with Symbian and Android.
  • Both models interesting, but it couldn’t be that it ends here.
  • WP7 has introduced an interesting new pattern, too early to tell, but it shows there is demand for other patterns.
  • Design team at Nokia has been spending significant amount of time designing a new Pattern to be launched with MeeGo
  • Marko does not show this new pattern (not ready) but it is NOT what we’ve seen with Vanilla MeeGo and possibly not the leaked MeeGo Nokia UI.
  • Touch screen immersive experiences, users have head down, pinching and zooming – touch screen requires full attention.
  • I think we’re missing a trick. Need to bring people’s head back up, maintain eye contact with better one handed use, better ways to use devices without them commanding our full attention (the SIXTH sense GESTURE UI?)
  • Increasingly competitiveness of platforms will be determined not only by patterns of user experience and how they use but HOW they make collective intelligence/experience. i.e. how do the platforms get better the more people use them.
  • Mention of more sensor data (indoor and outdoor positioning details in terms of developing user generated map details)

Then there’s a juicy Q&A more or less transcript below.


[vodpod id=Video.5085202&w=425&h=350&fv=]

    • New UI will be part of MeeGo
  • When asked about MeeGo from Nokia – early 2011?
    • Quite Sternly,  “2011”
  • Do you think Nokia is maintaining market share/improving it? Panic with change in CEO? Or everything cool?
    • there is critical mindshare and media attention question which is separate in a way from global reach of Nokia. 1.3B using handsets everyday.
    • Unless we introduce another pattern, a new Smartphone OS design, we wouldn’t cut through. Because no matter how much we polish and get more and more apps, we need to somehow regain the imagination.
    • It would be remarkable if the innovation is only here. Mature competitive smartphone or tablet has to launch apps, switch between apps and get informed of things (missed txt/messages/social networks) there are other ways to solve it than these.
    • Particularly, the issue of how many physical keys so we’re really emphasising the face of the device is nearly all screen.
    • What I said about the mouse was deliberate, you still have to take your hand off the screen and click (when refering to the home button like a mouse to move you from home to menu)
    • Looks like MeeGo will just have a screen with NO menu button on the face. New? Check out N900. Where are the buttons on its face?
    • More screen to product face ratio (excellent. I want BORDERLESS please. and have a clever enough UI to make a “fake” bezel but in other operations use the bezel space to increase screen size!!!!)
    • For smaller device we can have more space for apps to shine.
  • Are we going to get rid of phones altogether – just project on to my glasses? My retina?
    • I think that’s ways away yet.
  • Give me your view, 10 years, 20 years – this is not fun. I don’t use voice. If you try to call me it’s just twitter/IM.
    • I talked about ways to interact with devices that don’t require their full attention.
    • That sounds abstract but it means interacting with the people that are here (ever get that darned blackberry texter with head in the phone instead of in your group’s conversation?)
    • This means better ways of pulling information without interrupting what you’re doing
    • I don’t need to go “sorry I got to tweet this”
  • So just think and tweet?
    • Not quite, but we can certainly design better peripheral interactions and getting notified, you know if something requires your attention without paying FULL attention.
  • Talk about developers – main thing to develop for nokia is the 1.3B devices?
    • No – one is we’ve reset a lot of developer tool kit outside, focusing on Qt on top of Symbian common to both it and MeeGo.
    • Making it more accessible and the scale
    • Local reach – still one unseen thing, most global developer community with local participation.
    • If we can give bigger reach globally, that’s interesting, in locally relevant context.
    • If you want performance go Qt and QtQuick
  • Are we going to get an Android Nokia?
    • We’re interest in using platforms where we can add value and if that were the case – then. But it isn’t right now. Well that isn’t the usual blunt line of NO.
  • So you’re saying Android doesn’t create value?
    • From the point of view of the device manufacturer
    • Much more interesting to introduce new pattern. More competitive.
    • Consumers deserve choice
    • Consumers deserve European based global ecosystem
    • We have a responsibility as the leading mobile company in Europe to work on that.
    • As a pattern, the pattern is the same pattern. Many people don’t know this but the Symbian and Android pattern is the same.
    • Business model is different. Who makes money and how.  Not fundamentally a design question. How people make money in Symbian and how you can make money on Android is different. (Note, Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Samsung, HP and Google – all have own OS. Looking at it long term, it’s not aboubt devices sold now, it is how far you can spread your OS.)
  • Would you say WP7 is the same pattern?
    • No. Who here has used WP7? It’s definitely not the same pattern, it’s a new pattern – very early to tell but shows there is hunger for innovation.
    • Talking about mindshare, something does happen when a platform becomes common and everyone has it. At least everyone that you see.
    • It becomes a little bit less exciting. (e.g. Symbian everywhere , less exciting. Android and iPhone everywhere, less exciting?)
    • No Android – WP7?
  • I’ve never seen you that excited,  and I’ve known you for 10 years personally. Also you sold your ocmpany, you created a company, and you come back home. So that must be really exciting?
    • Yeah, I think if you can be a part of making a bet on the steering wheel…
  • Is it going to be better than the iPhone
    • I really believe in shipping (what?!)  and you asked when, it’s only going to ship when it’s right and it’s amazing.
  • So when you ship it’s going to be better than the iPhone
    • I don’t know what, all competition, I look at all the competition broadly
    • BTW globally our competition isn’t only iPhone Land
    • There’s a little bit of Cupertino Distortion Field sometimes happening where we think that’s only where…
    • When you lok at market and accesibility of patterns, the previous discussion was about that, how  low you can go
  • Rovio has been extremely successful on Nokia
    • Huuuge.
    • Ovi store is ramping, local relevance is very interesting.
    • I think the situation with a new pattern like WP7. It’s a little bit too early to tell.
    • Also for those of you who follow these things it’s interesting to look at the business model, who’s making money and where.


Platforms that are competitive will need to harness the collective intelligence of their users and own usage history. e.g. Ovi Maps. (Cheers Larry for the YouTube video)

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Category: MeeGo, Nokia

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