Falling in Love with Scandinavian Design

by BTM

Sun, 02 July 2017

Falling in Love with Scandinavian Design

Astonishing attention to detail and sophisticated styling were the driving forces behind the creation of this stunning new range of devices.

Raun Forsyth and Alasdair Mcphail, design directors at HMD Global, led the team behind the newest smartphones – the Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6.

As a newly established product team, they began by drawing on the brand’s heritage and defining a solid common vision. The goal was to deliver durable and smart devices that are so beautiful you fall in love with them. 

Phones have such intricate internals that you cannot design the exterior without understanding the functionality of each part. The experienced engineers created a plain back panel by hiding the antenna lines on the edge of the phone without negatively impacting the performance. 

If you take away what’s not essential from a device, the features that remain are naturally better quality, as there is more attention and space for them. When deciding which materials to use for the chassis, the team started by determining what qualities are most important to users.

Metal provides durability but piecing together separate parts to create a shell results in a higher risk of them breaking apart and disrupting the structural integrity. The team invested in a metal unibody and each Nokia smartphone is carved from a single block of aluminium, a process that takes 12 hours per unit. 

People buy on emotion. We can’t help but react to how the look of something makes us feel. That is why, often, beauty overrides logic – consumers are known to choose the aesthetically pleasing device over the supercomputer. It’s a hard balancing act to fit performance into a shell designed in isolation, which is why the designers worked from the outset with engineering, making it possible to bundle functionality and usability with a sleek and beautiful design. 

Not everyone has the same preferences when it comes to the size, weight, shape and colour of their smartphone. So instead of trying to get it almost right for the largest set of consumers they decided to get it exactly right for everyone by creating a portfolio.

The designers experimented with ergonomics that stop short from being completely rational – a shape that is ultra-cool, edgy and different. With sharp-machined sidewalls, this design has attitude; it is not trying to be loved. The smartphone makes a strong statement to customers who are looking for something meaningfully different.

Even when phones sell, the design team often doesn’t get the kudos as people often assign the success to technical specifications. But it is easy to get bored by the spec race so it is time to give people real choice, and the only way to do that is through design. 

Prices range from BD52 for the Nokia 3 to BD67 for the Nokia 5 and BD83 for the Nokia 6.

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