Tag Archives: design

Google Tries To Emulate Microsoft’s Modern Design Language That Spans Across Devices With ‘Material Design’

At Google I/O, Google announced a new design language called ‘Material design’ that will span across devices. Even though it follows lots of Microsoft’s Modern design language, there is one main difference. There is a depth to UI elements in Google’s ‘Material Design’ and developers can now specify the Z axis for their UI elements for their apps.

Design is the art of considered creation. Our goal is to satisfy the diverse spectrum of human needs. As those needs evolve, so too must our designs, practices, and philosophies. We challenged ourselves to create a visual language for our users that synthesizes the classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science.

A material metaphor is the unifying theory of a rationalized space and a system of motion. Our material is grounded in tactile reality, inspired by our study of paper and ink, yet open to imagination and magic. This is material design.

What do you think of Google’s new design language?

Facebook Beta App Updated With All New UI In Windows Phone Store

Facebook BEta app Windows Phone

Microsoft today released an update to the Facebook beta app in Windows Phone Store. This v8.3.0.1 brings in new UI and lots of new features. Joe Belfiore last week promised that much improved Facebook app is coming soon and I guess this is the start to it.

v5.3 Additions:
•Updated designQRCode
•Improved performance
•Video upload
•Support for additional languages

Download the app here from Windows Phone Store.

Microsoft Announces Widest Hardware Range Support For WP8.1, OEMs Can Now Use Existing Android Hardware

windows phone hardware support new

Along with the announcement about 9 new OEMs for Windows Phone platform, Microsoft also announced widest hardware support coming with Windows Phone 8.1 release. These include the following,

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 200, Snapdragon 400, Snapdragon 400 LTE processor support enabling low-cost Windows Phone devices.
  • Reduced Hardware requirements such as making hardware keys and camera button optional.
  • Supports TD-SCDMA, TD-LTE and SGLTE networks.
  • Driver catalog supported by 20 Independent Hardware Vendors.
  • Simple tools and licensing model.
  • Works with existing Android Hardware

According to me, the most significant announcement is the support for existing Android hardware which will enable OEMs to bring Windows Phone devices to market in very little time as they can simply use their Android designs. MWC2014-281_575px_thumb.jpgAlso, Microsoft is enabling any OEM to easily build on Windows Phone platform with simple processes. I think Microsoft is going in the right path for building momentum for Windows Phone platform, what do you think?

Recent Nokia Patent Reveals Foldable Battery Designs

Nokia Bendable Displays

Smartphone OEMs like Samsung and LG have already started making devices with curved displays. Recently, Samsung even promised to release fully foldable displays in 2015. To make a foldable mobile device, you need foldable battery technology. LG revealed their foldable battery tech few months back. In a recently revealed Nokia’s patent, Nokia’s design of foldable batter technology was revealed. The battery pack will be made of ‘foldable cells’ that can curve and bend with the shape of a phone. The same technology can be used to fill in battery between the free spaces available in small devices. This could lead to super-thin and foldable devices.

‘Even though the internal components are becoming smaller and smaller, batteries generally lag behind other technological advancements, consistently consuming a large portion of the portable electronic device.

‘In current portable electronic devices, to have a curved and aesthetically pleasing form factor, space is generally wasted between the battery and a case making the portable electronic device seem larger and a result may be less appealing,’

‘Additionally, there may also be wasted space between the internal components and the case and/or between certain internal components.’

Read more from the source links below.

Source:Nokia’s patent, Dailymail


Marko Ahtisaari To Leave Nokia, Stefan Pannenbecker To Fill His Position

Stefan Pannenbecker

600-1-marko_ahtisaari_013Along with the huge news that Nokia is selling its Devices and Services division to Microsoft, Nokia also announced that its EVP of Design at Nokia is leaving the company from Nov 1st to “pursue entrepreneurial opportunities,”. This is a big loss for Microsoft as they are losing one of the top design executive. Good news is that, Stefan Pannenbecker will now head the design at Nokia.

Stefan Pannenbecker is currently VP of Design at Nokia where he leads design teams in Finland, the UK and China creating a portfolio of devices which we have been seeing from Nokia in the past few years.

Nokia Talks About The Design Of New Big Screen Lumia 625

Nokia Lumia 625 colors stacked
Nokia Conversations today posted a discussion with Kyeyoung Kang and Jenny Cui from the Nokia Design team on their new Nokia Lumia 625 Windows Phone device. Nokia feels that Lumia 625 is designed to feel human, tactile and comfortable which is achieved through a combination of material and design choices.

Kye explains that, “purity and seamlessness are at the centre of our design approach.”

You’ll notice that shape of the phone is pillowed and natural, and the glass on the front curves at the edges. Even the rear of the phone is gently curved. Kye says that the design team think of the phone’s shape as being as seamless as possible and friendly to the touch. The edgeless flow of curves makes you turn it over in your hands automatically.

At the same time as the shape intrigues, the colour and materials team has been busy, “perfecting polycarbonate, and taking it to the next level,” as Jenny puts it.


Read more about it from the link below. I personally like the Nokia Lumia 625′s design, and I think it’s a perfect successor to Lumia 620.

Source: Nokia

Nokia Reveals Why They Released The Lumia 1020 With Matt Finish Over Gloss Finish

Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia today posted some details about Nokia Lumia 1020′s design approach. As usual, they chose different colors such as Yellow, White and Black to showcase Nokia’s distinctive design approach to colors and materials.

Why different colors?

“We wanted to keep it as a focused selection of colours. It’s an approach that will appeal to camera enthusiasts who are, perhaps, used to a black, but open to a rich colour like yellow,” says Jaana Beidler from Nokia Design.

The yellow will have a youthful appeal for younger people who are interested in cutting edge technologies, and who want an amazing camera to document every aspect of their lives.

“For them, the yellow is a little more energetic and expressive; it’s a unique Nokia character,” says Jaana.

Why matt finish over gloss finish?

All three colours have a matt finish, which has been selected over gloss because of its character and the quality feel that it offers.

The top coat has also been further improved with an anti-fingerprint and dirt resistant finish.

“We looked at and tested both matt and gloss finishes. However, the matt looked and lent itself very well to the three colours,” says Jaana.

Why Poly-carbonate over Aluminum?

“We are a leader in premium polycarbonate execution and the Nokia Lumia 1020 is continuing that success and the character that we have established since the Nokia N9,” says Jaana.

“We have revolutionised how plastic is perceived by many – the single piece polycarbonate is a real Nokia signature.“

“We have developed a very deep understanding of this material and have perfected its use”, says Jaana of the way Nokia executes the polycarbonate.

Speaking on other design details,

The camera detail is aluminium and has a black matt finish, regardless of the main colour choice. Aluminium was chosen because of ‘durability and quality.’

On the other side of the smartphone, the display is Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and is curved at the edges to complement the industrial design. On the sides, the keys are also aluminium.

Source: Nokia

Windows Phone team shuts down redesign rumour

Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin recently claimed that Microsoft was planning to review the Windows Phone 8 user interface and rebuild it from scratch, possibly ditching Metro completely for the next major version of Windows Phone.

It seems the Windows Phone Design Team on Twitter were not too impressed with this idea, posting:

"Scrapping everything and starting over"? Hahaha.

Of course the tweet does not mean that the Metro design guidelines are not being reviewed, or that the Windows Phone team is aware of all the changes underfoot.  One simply need to look at all the conflicting messages, even from official sources, regarding the ability to upgrade handsets from Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8.

However it is clear that, at least overtly, the team are not aware of a complete reboot of Windows Phone’s UI.

Nokia Initially Planned A Bigger Display For Lumia 925, Dropped The Plan Due To Antenna Issues

Nokia Lumia 925 Product

In an interview to ZDNet, Jonne Harju, senior smartphone designer at Nokia has revealed that Nokia initially planned for a large display Nokia Lumia 925, but latter settled with the current size of 4.5 inch due to antenna issue. While speaking about the design process each product at Nokia goes in to before starting production, he told the Nokia Lumia 925 story.

Not all of the technologies that the designers want to include will eventually make it into a device, however. In the 925′s case, a bigger display was on the drawing board but was pulled after it was found to be monkeying with the all-important antenna.

“We were trying an idea where we were trying to fit a bigger display and in that point in time, we were thinking let’s make a bigger display… then we realised it did not help because of the antenna — there was interference,”

He even revealed that the metal rim around Nokia Lumia 925 gave few head aches during design process, but thanks to Nokia R&D team who solved the issues to make the device reach the consumer’s hands on time.

“We got some antenna results and it wasn’t working at all and we’d already decided we were going to produce this. Suddenly, it’s not working. To me it was superscary, I was like, ‘oh my, what are we going to do?’ That antenna problem can easily rip the whole concept apart.”

When kinks appear in the design process, the team can ask for help from the research and development staff.  “We go to R&D and it’s more of a therapy session — we say ‘man, we have issues’, then they start helping you out — ‘don’t worry, I think we can fix it this way’,” Alfthan says.

Getting the splits in the aluminium frame just so turned out to be in key to producing a functioning metal antenna.

“The grade of the plastic that we were using for that little split, it has a certain value that we needed to look at and make sure that it is communicated right in the antenna simulations. There’s a lot of minute things that, as a designer, you don’t really need to think about with a plastic phone because it’s RF-transparent by nature.”

Read the whole story from the link below. It’s definitely worth a read!

Source: ZDNET

Take A Look At This Windows Phone Design Concept

Camera UI

We have seen lots of Windows Phone design concepts from designers around the world. I came across this one and found some app concepts interesting. The designer has some posted screenshots of redesigned Camera UI, Multitasking mechanism, Search experience, Xbox Music app, Photos app, Charms menu and of course the notification center. Take a look at some of them after the break and the complete set from the link at the bottom of the post.

Check more after the break.

Continue reading

HTC 8X and HTC 8S Windows Phone 8 Devices Grabs IDEA Design Awards

HTC 8S Gold Award
Just like Nokia, even HTC has got IDEA Design awards for both their Windows Phone 8 devices. HTC 8S Windows Phone 8 device won a gold award whereas HTC 8X Windows Phone 8 device won a silver award for design.

HTC 8S description by HTC,

The Windows Phone 8S embodies harmony between the physical and digital experience for the user. In order to achieve this harmony, the design of the smartphone mirrors the essence of Microsoft ‘s Live Tile: an ever-changing, informational tile at the heart of the interface. This was accomplished by creating a square silhouette that reflectes the thinness and lightness of the Live Tiles. Windows Phone 8S stays true to the Windows Phone design aesthetic with its soft yet square form.

Technology has seen a revolution in which intelligent products can now look less serious and be more expressive. This is most apparent in the vivid colors of the Windows Phone 8S. The 8S has a playful twist that brings vivid, bold color to the forefront by showing off a bright color “dip,” giving the appearance of having been dipped in a bucket of paint. This creates stylish color combinations that capture a youthful and expressive demographic.

I feel sad for HTC designers who made HTC 8X and HTC 8S devices. Even though they did an incredible job, due to their company’s focus on Android devices, their work/device got sidelined. What do you think?

Source: IDSA

Microsoft shows off early Windows Phone Design Concepts


Some concept designs for Windows Phone leaked some weeks ago but have since been pulled from Vimeo.  Today however Microsoft published  a page touting their commitment to design, which includes a video, showing the evolution of the Windows Phone Metro design.

As can be seen from the screen shot above, at one point things were rather garish, but became increasingly minimalist and more reliant on typography and clear symbols.

See the video below after the break.

Continue reading

Albert Shum, Windows Phone Design Studio General Manager, talks about rebranding Microsoft (video)

While many people complain about Metro and Live Tiles, Microsoft’s bold move to minimalism and to being digitally authentic has been extremely influential over the last few years.

In a recent presentation for the Norwegian Design , Albert Shum, Windows Phone Design Studio General Manager, and Todd Simmons, Executive Creative Director at Wolff Olins, spoke about the work and challenges involved in Re-Imagining Microsoft: Inside and Out.

The 44 min talk gives a fascinating view into the transformation process going on in Microsoft which is usually only described years after its completed.