Nokia SVP of Design Marko Ahtisaari has admitted that the company still needs “to somehow regain the imagination,” though as always that route won’t involve Android. “We’ll go where we can add value,” Ahtisaari said at LeWeb 2010 this morning, “that’s not the case at the moment with Android.” Instead, Nokia’s design team is focused on new homescreen paradigms ahead of MeeGo‘s launch in 2011, with Ahtisaari arguing that the UI dynamics of iOS, Symbian and Android aren’t quite there yet.
“If you look at touchscreen devices today … they’re immersive, they require our full attention. We’re not doing good enough for better one-handed use, for better using our devices without them demanding our attention. Giving people their head-up again is very important.” Marko Ahtisaari, SVP Design, Nokia
Another focus is how sensor-integrated phones can learn from the individual user’s behavior, but also that of other device users in aggregate. “How do the platforms get better the more people use them?” Ahtisaari asked, pointing to Ovi Maps and its ability to not only intuit traffic and map information from multiple user feedback, but to track inaccuracies in core mapping data as it spots multiple users going off-course.
One future implementation, he suggested, was coupling GPS data with other sensor input, and using that to dynamically work out real-time activity. So, a sudden group of users in proximity could suggest the location of a party. The design team is also looking at how devices address updates and reminders of things like missed calls and new messages, though Ahtisaari didn’t show any UI mockups.