Saturday, May 21, 2011

Seeing summer

Summer feels fresh - and it is, spring is hardly yet gone. Mosquitoes are starting to bother while going for a walk in a forest, but that is a small nuisance. The best thing is that there is so much new to see and explore with a camera.

I have been thinking about my Nokia E7 mobile phone every once in a while. I'm getting used to it, which doesn't mean that I won't get angry with it now and then.

Adam Greenfield - who was head of design direction for user interface and services at Nokia in 2008-2010 - made an insightful posting about the culture inside Nokia, check it out. Here is a quote: "Another, blunter way of putting it: there’s nobody with any taste in the decision-making echelons at Nokia. And this is especially unfortunate and ironic, given that elegant, simple Finnish design has tutored generations in what taste means."

Indeed, the Nokia E7 gives the user a feeling of bad taste. But then there are the good moments, when the phone actually works. And some applications, such as Sports Tracker, of which Greenfield also writes, which are good indeed.


Markus Spring said...

"... given that elegant, simple Finnish design has tutored generations in what taste means." Yes, Juha, this certainly is true, not only in Finland, also here in Germany, Finnish design was a constant during my childhood (my parents were both interested in art and design), and I myself enjoyed it very much when I visited Helsinki 10 years back.
Yes, and Nokia mobiles in that sense are not Finnish, their design is more of a global, arbitrary mixture. Apple now shows, what Finnish design should and could be.

Juha Haataja said...

@Markus: I feel a bit ambivalent about the term "Finnish design", as I think it is nowadays a myth.

Of course, there are some things which are very well designed - for example, we have at home tableware and cutlery made by Iittala, Arabia and Fiskars, which is simple and durable, in other words: excellent design.

But overall, I think Nokia is typical "Finnish design" nowadays - we are good only in exceptional cases.