The keynote on the final day was by Harri Kiljander, Director of Experience Design for Multimedia (N Series) at Nokia. This was something I was really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the presentation was more questions than answers.
Harri identified a range of issues that the industry is experiencing (complexity/feature bloat, lack of standards, justifying usability to the organisation etc etc), but didn’t talk about how Nokia is addressing those issues. In fact, he went on to say that Nokia are now trying to use the term Multimedia Computer instead of Mobile Phone and that this isn’t likely to be clear or customer friendly.
Harri used the same stats that I talked about in my slides for the AIMIA MCIDG Consumer Education launch a couple of weeks ago talking about the return rates of mobile phones with No Fault Found and the financial impact it has, but given the audience here it seems a bit like preaching to the converted.
I was talking to a friend after the talk and he was saying that Nokia is still a very engineering focussed company (something Harri also admitted) and that there is no-one who is at the C-Level in charge of the user experience. I’m surprised by this, given Nokia’s market lead is no doubt due to the usability of the devices and clear market feedback on phones like the Nokia 3650, but obviously they are assumptions on my part.