marko ahtisaari

As the dust begins to settle around the Microsoft-Nokia announcement late last night, a deal which won’t take effect until 2014 due to regulatory clearances, it has been revealed that Marko Ahtisaari will be leaving the company as well.

Ahtisaari has been a very public face of the company in terms of design, coming to signify the Lumia brand. Appearing in a few videos (see below), the soft-spoken Finn described why Nokia chose certain design aspects over others for their Lumia devices, highlighting the connection between “the digital and the physical”.

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Marko Ahtisaari. You should know that name by now, if not, add to your memory (we’ll wait). He’s the head of Nokia’s product and user experience design, which means he oversees how our Lumia Windows Phones ultimately look. From changing the chrome buttons to black ceramic, to the battery casing, to the overall feel of the device Marko and his team are the one’s doing it at Nokia.

In this latest clip, the designer takes a look at the Lumia 620, one of our favorite phones in a similar manner to the Lumia 920 video. In it Marko details what the goal of the 620 design was and how Nokia achieved it. While not much new information is revealed, you do get the sense once again of purpose in design here.

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Nokia has published a video on its YouTube channel. It's an interview with Marko Ahtisaari, Head of the Nokia Design Team, who talks about the Lumia 920. Revealing how the team pays close attention to minute details (hardware buttons, glass, etc.), he goes into explaining how the team wanted to ensure the build quality of the Windows Phone is at such a level so when consumers take the device out the pocket while outside, they're not concerned about its protection and cover it in bulky cases.

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The Guardian has interviewed Marko Ahtisaari (seen above), executive vice president of design at Nokia. Being responsible for the look and feel of the Lumia family of handsets, Ahtisaari was questioned on how the unique polycarbonate body design (Lumia 800 and 900) came to be, the partnership (and integration) with Microsoft, and what will be brought to the table by Nokia next. 

"Live Tiles; they're abstractions of data, a panoramic view of your data. It's a different approach - 'glanceability', such as in the People Hub. Our goal in the studio is to design so that people can have their head up again. Touchscreen designs are often immersive; we'll often see couples in a restaurant pinching and zooming, but not interacting with each other. And there's a trend of having smaller and smaller targets on screen so you have to get closer and closer.

If we can make the interfaces more direct, so you can have your head up again – this is something that, while it would never come up in a focus group, is deeply appreciated by people, because the most important things are happening not only in the vessel of your phone, but also with the people and the environment around you."

Discussing MeeGo, iOS and Android, Ahtisaari speaks highly of the platform UIs, but notes fragmentation and lack of evolution since  innovation (especially the case with iOS). We shouldn't view what's currently available as the end of user interface development, he continues:

"They will be more diversity in user interface because you can design more ways to use a phone. Some people would say that the iPhone is the new generic form. My point is more about competitive diversity. What's really important is that this isn't styling. This aesthetic come from the way that we build the product."

Head over to The Guardian to read up on the interview in full. There's more to come from the Finnish manufacturer, which can only be good news for Windows Phone.

Source: The Guardian (image credit), thanks @samsabri for the tip!

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