Feeds

HTC design cleans Nokia's clock

And Apple's too

High performance access to file storage

Get these three right, and you're punching

Three things plague Nokia's product design and development today. One is bureaucratic inertia - and this has been so well discussed here at El Reg and elsewhere, I'll not elaborate here. The other is the fit and finish of the software and services contains such rough edges and loose ends, you wonder if the product managers are on permanent sick leave. Again, this has been observed so many times in so many products, repetition is unnecessary.

But curing those won't save the day. The third issue is a stultifying blandness and conservatism. In the 1990s Nokia had the courage to bring some radical designs to market. Here's one you'll know:

From 1998, the Nokia 8810: the absence of 7,8,9,0,# and * keys didn't stop it being a runaway success

The Nokia 3210, which sold 160 million, received just as much attention to detail, and was the result of different disciplines coming together under that elusive magic that's great design.

Today very little differentiates one E series (Nokia's best traditional phones) device from another, and the four new Symbian^3s are only differentiated from each other, rather than from the competition. The design doesn't do them justice. Rather like the old Soviet Politburo, the goal is internal conformity, rather than exciting and surprising the punter.

This is particularly noticeable in the software design, with Ovi a prime candidate. Was it really necessary to spend so long designing an icon set that didn't offend anybody, when the user can't tell whether the icon opens a folder or an application? Nokia really prides itself on its global cultural savvy, and when you consider that it conquered the world from the base of a tiny home market, you can understand why. But the savvy counts for nothing if the design looks like Esperanto sounds. Nokia aspires to a uniform "design language" - but sometimes, that language sounds like Engrish.

.

Now if I knew the answer, I wouldn't be sitting here. But recognising the problem should be a priority for the new CEO. HTC has shown what you can do with applied design. It's quite scary. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.