All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

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  #1  
Old 16-03-2010, 11:22 PM
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Symbian Foundation's Scott Weiss on UI

In this video interview, recorded just before MWC, we speak to Scott Weiss (User Interface Technology Manager at the Symbian Foundation and Chair of the Symbian Foundation UI Council) about the Symbian Foundaion UI and some of the initiatives and projects that Symbian is undertaking around UI topics. You'll hear about some of the key user experience changes, the UI workshops and the UI pattern library.

Read on in the full article.
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  #2  
Old 17-03-2010, 08:10 AM
e71user
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is it just me or are those pics of the UI that bad? Those icons totally suck, a 5 year old could have done a better job! Why would they do workshops in Japan to develop the UI?? Everyone knows Japanese lack creativity! They're gonna ruin the UI! That's why this UI sucks!!! No wonder! No disrespect but when was the last time some great software came out of Japan? They have good work ethic and I love their quality manufactured products but dont go there to develop software are you crazy? That's why they dont design their cars, they just copy the Germans! Dont do it in Finland either! Finland is not known for software!

I am increasingly getting inpatient finding a replacement at Nokia for my E71, I prefer Nokias because they always have most features one could ask and I like the fact that I get firmware updates to keep my phone improving but if I look at their lineup right now there is not one phone they have I'm interested in, not one! The E72 is barely an improvement to my E71, the N97 has issues from software to hardware to form factor! What I want is an improvement to my E71, a real improvement! They need to keep the form factor but add touch, overhaul the UI.. make it similar to Palm's Pre and pixi!

If they dont i will get an iphone 4g next.

  #3  
Old 17-03-2010, 08:21 AM
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Are those screenshots of Symbian ^3?? Really?!

If they are, and that's what everyone keeps saying to wait for, and is the UI overhaul for Symbian.....then I'm selling my shares while I can :-(

  #4  
Old 17-03-2010, 08:22 AM
Jetrel
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@e71user:

maybe the coming N87 is right for you?

  #5  
Old 17-03-2010, 08:41 AM
Brendan Donegan
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@e71user,

I don't think it really makes sense to say that the Japanese lack creativity. Not if you look at talents like Miyamoto and Kojima in video games and Miyazaki in animation.

Also, this is just a theme and OEMs will be able to freely use whatever other look and feel they want. It would be best to have a look at Nokias Symbian^3 demos before jumping to conclusions.

Also, in my personal opinion how a UI looks is largely irellevant. Far more important is the logical layout and how things 'flow' when using it. That's where the improvements need to be.

  #6  
Old 17-03-2010, 08:49 AM
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~E71User

1. Why would they do workshops in Japan? Symbian already does supply the underlying OS to MOAP in Japan and they would certainly want to be supplying Symbian to Japanese phone manufacturers for the Japanese market as well as worldwide so I would hope that they would get involvement from the Japanese UI designers, just as they should get input from all localisation regions of the world. It's a global product, not just for your little world and your needs. It is not software development either, it's just user interface design. Part of the requirements gathering phase of any software project (must be agile if they are doing it this late!!!!). Anyway, if you don't believe that the Japanese can develop great software then you need to look at the PS3 and the Nintendo products. Your comments about their cars are just like the sort of thing my 85 year old grandfather would say.

2. The icons. To me they look clean and tidy, but if you don't like them then just like all Symbian OS versions these are the base ones and they are all able to be themed so you can pick and choose the appearance. This is Symbian, not necessarily the way Nokia will choose to implement Symbian^3 on any of their products.

As you appear to me a natural born whinger, just go ahead and get an iPhone 4 or a Palm pre or pix. Nobody gives a f**k what you do.

  #7  
Old 17-03-2010, 08:57 AM
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Hmmmm, interesting that he has got at least some of the Symbian^3 stuff running on a 5800, even if it's just apps to demo stuff. If it is an early development build of the ^2 or ^3 then there is a possiblity of further releases 5800 firmware (beyond the forthcoming browser update).

  #8  
Old 17-03-2010, 10:12 AM
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trentino in

First of all lets not get personal.

Secondly, as a long time user I represent the general frustrations many Nokia users have come to experience with Nokia and it's clearly all over the news too. The fact is Nokia is doing something wrong. They are doing many things wrong as a matter of fact. First the User Experience, it is unacceptable that when you buy a $500+ handset you deal with mediocre experience with it! The firmware is premature, we dont know if we need to push once or twice here and there, some handsets get free navigation some dont, what the hell is this? Not to mention their newly released Ovi Maps which in my opinion is not a bad product but highly illogical to use. Then there is hardware design flops! How can a handheld manufacturer have so many design flops? That's unacceptable.

That tells me that their biggest issue they have is a universal design problem throughout their company, software and hardware. They just dont have the right people to do those kind of challenges. If you throw in square Japanese designers they will ruin your company. First time I saw that a Japanese designer was in charge of designing the N97 I knew it was going to suck. And guess what? I was right, the N97 sucked on all ends.

  #9  
Old 17-03-2010, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e71user View Post

That tells me that their biggest issue they have is a universal design problem throughout their company, software and hardware. They just dont have the right people to do those kind of challenges. If you throw in square Japanese designers they will ruin your company. First time I saw that a Japanese designer was in charge of designing the N97 I knew it was going to suck. And guess what? I was right, the N97 sucked on all ends.
Well firstly, this appears to be a new approach and a different way of doing things and a new person running the show.

Secondly, it's not about designing a phone like the N97, it's a UI workshop for the OS. What phones it ends up on way into the future is separate (albeit linked) process.

I think it's crass and ignorant and borderline racist to suggest that a particular nation cannot provide valuable input to a design process. We are talking about a nation that was able to provide the kind of new thinking required to produce the Nintendo Wii which broke the games console out of the world of the nurds with non-existent social skills and into the family and fun environment resulting in a spectacular worldwide sales success. Meanwhile, in the USA, Apple developed the Newton.

As Nokia and Symbian are massively successful in the Asian markets and are in competition mainly with grey and counterfeit manufacturers there, they would be stupid not to get some involvement and input. Far better than trying to tell them what they need.

Each nation has its talented people and each nation has its donkeys.

Who the hell buys a $500+ handset if it has a mediocre user experience and premature, buggy firmware? Why buy a handset in that condition? Anyone who goes ahead and buys one and regrets it despite all those flaws can only blame themselves.

Nobody bought a phone expecting free maps. Some people got lucky. Big deal. Anyone who wants maps from now on can choose a phone with maps on. What's the problem?

  #10  
Old 17-03-2010, 12:06 PM
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Is it just me?

Is it just me? Or do I see a pattern here...goes something like this:

"<Whining_about_some_random_issue> - this is unacceptable. If the perfect doesn't come within the near future, then <insert_generic_I_will_buy_an_iPhone_remark>..."

Yawn....

  #11  
Old 17-03-2010, 12:08 PM
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E71user

- Writing of an entire country as lacking in design skills is rather short-sighted and essentially makes me think the rest of your arguments are likely to be equally dubious. Besides which Japan is widely recognised as being advanced in mobile - it has taken a different path to the rest of the world - and that experience is going to be very very valuable in a workshop, which is about generating ideas. The dominant input type in Japan is hyrbrid (touch+keys), which is arguable where the rest of the world is headed... so if anything Japan is ahead of current trends.

- N97 design - as I understand the contribution from Japan was form the hardware form factor. I think you'll find a lot of people saying this is elegant. The hardware spec is was combined wth, plus the software is what caused some people to have adverse reactions.

- I think you have missed the point about the UI workshops - they are intended to bring in third parties to work together to generate ideas... these may or may not be used. It allows in outside ideas and matches up with the open ethos of the Symbian Foundation. The actually design work for the UI is mainly going to come through contributions - Symbian^4 UI proposal (Nokia)...

- I don't think you can take your experience (and some others too, to be fair) and use it for a blanket condemnation. We've reported widely on some of the issues around the N97 (and others) here on AAS, but we've also talked about the steps that have been taken to fix this. The noise about this has come from a relatively small (next to toal Symbian devices sold) number power users. Yes there are issues, but this is not unqiue to Symbian/ Nokia at all.

- Symbian^3 screenshot - it is not a screenshot, rather it is showing a mockup of the theme. This is the default theme that the SF will provide, but many (most?) manufacturers will replace it with their own (see the link to the Nokia Symbian^3 productised video for an example of Nokia's look for Symbian^3).
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  #12  
Old 17-03-2010, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Is it just me? Or do I see a pattern here...goes something like this:

"<Whining_about_some_random_issue> - this is unacceptable. If the perfect doesn't come within the near future, then <insert_generic_I_will_buy_an_iPhone_remark>..."

Yawn....
Yes it's a loop process. Once you switch to another platform / device / technology the process starts all over again.

All of this has happened before, all of this will happen again.
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  #13  
Old 17-03-2010, 12:49 PM
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Those are not screenshots obviously! Just mockups, why would they have thing like 'label' in the menu? And if you need more proof look at the mockup of the homescreen widgets, look at how it aligns between the two status bars (signal and battery), you will notice that it leans more to the signal side and have a wider gap to the battery signal side. That is because it is a simple mockup with bitmaps dragged all over.

  #14  
Old 17-03-2010, 12:57 PM
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Thumbs down

That theme is atrocious. I hope and pray that this isn't going to be the standard theme on S^3. How is it that we have such nice looking icons right now, and they want to go to that garbage?

Guess I'll be looking forward to Tehkseven creating a "classic" theme for S^3, with all the classic icons from S^1.

Hey Scott, I think you and the rest of the Symbian community should take the time and really look at some of the ideas on Symbian Ideas site. There's a lot of things on there, a lot of which don't have a lot of votes for some reason, that would greatly improve the platform, especially the UI, and make a lot of users very happy, and most likely even bring people back to Symbian.

Check out this one for example: http://ideas.symbian.org/Idea/View?ideaid=6334

That is something Symbian badly needs.

  #15  
Old 17-03-2010, 01:46 PM
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I know this...

Looks like old good UIQ3... back for good?
 

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