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

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

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 videos no longer available.
  • 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 videos no longer available.
    • 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)

Nokia Conversations

Categories: MeeGo, Nokia Tags: , , , ,
  1. George
    December 9, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    MeeGo will ship only when it is ready and AMAZING!

    What a tagline coming from Nokia !? hahahah, really funny. I guess they really know finally, after many years, that the consumers don’t want unfinished products. Well done nokia, you smart people finally got it. Make it ready and amazing, nice tag words…

    Now i’m shouting – don’t make it ready and Amazing, make it polished and UBER! for beeing such a smart ass now, I could apply for CEO @ nokia.

    stop talikng finally, and DELIVER !!

    • Rant
      December 9, 2010 at 2:28 pm

      Indeed, just finish it and develop on it while it is in the market. You even get more feedback then than when you only devlop it amongst test groups and in labs.

      To me this just sounds like: We don’t know yet what we are making and certainly don’t know when it will ship. Or Marko just doesn’t know about ship dates and is only concerned with design decisions.

      • December 9, 2010 at 2:39 pm

        Yup, essentially, I don’t think ANYONE knows release dates for MeeGo from Nokia.

      • Average Joe
        December 11, 2010 at 8:29 am

        “Indeed, just finish it”

        I wonder how come Nokia didn’t think of such a simple idea. The solution to their problems is just to finish MeeGo now instead of next year 😉 .

        “develop on it while it is in the market.”

        Yes, because normal people like so much to pay for unfinished devices. Technical people can already get MeeGo while it is being developed: http://wiki.meego.com/Release_Engineering/Plans/1.2 ; because unlike Android, MeeGo is truly open (yes, the Nokia UI is closed, but then it’s to MeeGo as Sense is to Android).

        “You even get more feedback then than when you only devlop it amongst test groups and in labs.”

        The feedback they would get from the users would be “meego is unfinished”, “I want a phone that just works”, “Android is better”, “Nokia treats us as paying beta testers”, and so on. The feedback they would get from Gizmodo & Co, we can only imagine 😀 .

        Just look at how many people come ranting here because the N900, a finished product, hasn’t got turn-by-turn navigation. Guess what they would do if they paid for a phone which can’t make phone calls!
        Especially true for a phone like the N9 which is probably going to be VERY expensive.

    • Average Joe
      December 11, 2010 at 8:10 am

      “stop talikng finally, and DELIVER !!”

      Android: Acquired in 2005 (wasn’t even touchscreen by then), announced November 2007, released February 2009 (with less features than the average Nokia featurephone).

      MeeGo: Announced February 2010, 1.1 Released October 2010, 1.2 expected May 2011.

      Who talks and who delivers?

  2. Larry
    December 9, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    What do u guys think is the new UI paradigm. They talk about the phone being aware of its using and the implementation of nokia bots and nokia situations seems to point in that direction. A phone what ‘adapts’ to your wants and needs. I guess the issue still is how r they gonna do put this in a UI??

  3. Rant
    December 9, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    UI design isn’t only pixels and colors in the situation Marko is describing. I think he’s also thinking about improved haptics and such. Didn’t Nokia have some pretty cool projects in the work in R&D facilities?

  4. Matsku
    December 9, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Now that sounds promising, if Nokia really has the vision and ambition to deliver a whole new use pattern and sexy&sleek hardware, both by performance and industrial design. I think that if Nokia delivers all the things Marko described, they have a winner device.

    It is true what he said: all the other companies that use Android just make the same device again and again, there ain’t much difference between their flagship phones. When MeeGo is out, it will be much more appealing than the 9000+ almost identical Android devices. Or who knows what Google delivers with Android 3.0.

    I’m glad I didn’t buy a new Nokia device just yet – I think I’ll wait for another six months or so to buy something really new and awesome! Don’t get me wrong, I think that S^3 is a huge improvement compared to S60 and I enjoyed when I tested it, but still… MeeGo just sounds way more interesting!

    Let’s cross our fingers (and toes) and wish to see MeeGo devices as soon as possible, as perfect as possible 🙂

  5. zonk0r
  6. Viipottaja
    December 9, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    I don’t think the UI and UX is a massive paradigm shift. It will likely be great and nice and perhaps even somewhat amazing, but don’t expect the phone to start knowing what you are thinking etc. all of a sudden. There will be swipes up and down to reveal app and widget menus etc. so not quite yet the Minority Report interaction..

  7. Shmerl
    December 9, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    No WP7 please!

  8. Pete
    December 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    I agree with Viipottaja. Maybe Meego’ll have some cool new stuff but absolutely still based on today’s technology.

    Something that comes in to my head based on Ahtisaari’s comments is maybe a WeTab-styled smaller scrollscreen on top to control one huge homescreen with enhanced haptic feedback. You could maybe feel a unique haptic signal on your thumb when you are on your favourite spot on the homescreen.

    This is one example of how you could operate your phone while talking to someone without missing the eye-contact.

  9. Johnny Tremaine
    December 9, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    I think that they have this all wrong (as does Microsoft with WP7 and their ‘look up’ campaign).

    Why would you not want to look at your 4 to 4.3 inch screened smart phone and be engaged in using it?

    Their other big issue is marketing. Verizon did it brilliantly with the ‘Droid does’, cyborg and Star Wars campaign as did, of course, Apple with their giant PR and advertising machine.

    So far, Nokia has shown that they couldn’t market a life raft to a drowing man and they have issues around the ‘Nokia’ brand itself, which has an aura of uncool. It’s what Steve Wozniak hinted at, that the Finns should use a newly created brand to pitch their Meego phones, since the Nokia name is one “from a previous generation”.

    • Cocco Bill
      December 10, 2010 at 1:04 am

      Apple is as much “from the previous generation” as Nokia and it doesn’t prevent them from selling their overpriced stuff. Samsung isn’t a young brand either. Microsoft is from a previous generation too. Sony is even older. They both still sell stuff well. From the top ten brands in the world 2010, only one (or two depending on a survey) is (are) young – Google (and China Mobile).

      Steve Wozniak is a guru perhaps, but not a marketing guru.

  10. Andre
    December 10, 2010 at 1:55 am

    God knows I’ve been MIA for a while, finals!!! BLEH!!!

    That said there’s a lot of talk and brooding excitement. Here’s to hoping that this is actually worth all the fuss especially when compared to what other competitors are likely working on for the same timeframe

  11. Georg
    December 10, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Well some people already called Maemo 5 amazing, the last Meego iteration didn’t seem to be 1 year ahead of Maemo5 and now it starts again, if they say it’ll be amazing they are implying that after all the wait there will be something huge and new. I think it’ll just be like Meego is now and they are just playing for time. Time they don’t have, there are now 300,000 Android devices activated each day!

  12. December 11, 2010 at 4:37 am

    good job for you

  1. December 12, 2010 at 11:55 am
  2. December 14, 2010 at 12:54 am
  3. December 20, 2010 at 9:11 am

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