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March 15, 2010

Welcome to Design by Community!

Design-by-communityGLOBAL – Today sees us launch a brand new project dubbed Design by Community, right here on the official Nokia blog. This exciting assignment will see you help us create a smartphone concept device of the future. It’s important we emphasize that we’re not making a real phone – it’s intended to be an engrossing and compelling exercise in creative thinking and design collaboration. And this is the first time we’ve ever undertaken a reader-based design project of this nature or scale, so please join us on a pioneering journey over the coming months as we collectively craft a smartphone concept.

Read on to find out how you can get involved from where you’re sitting. Plus, we explain how the finished concept device will be visualized, give you the lowdown on our design schedule, and everything you can expect over the coming months. Keen conceptualists and smartphone dreamers step this way…

Want to help design a Nokia smartphone concept?
Click here to begin

The final smartphone concept creation will be brought to life by the Nokia Design team, who will assist us by building a full 3D computer render of the smartphone, based on your collective design choices.

Step 1 – How to get involved

Over the course of the next few months you will be encouraged to collaborate and help us shape a smartphone concept that edges outside the boundaries of today’s technology – a fantasy product that should prove a lot of fun, but one that acknowledges the inspiring design challenges that face Nokia’s designers every day. Throughout the entire process we will be granting you inside access to the people at Nokia who are on the frontline of exploring these sorts of design dilemmas, and explaining what can be done today and how, what can’t be done and why, as well as what could be done in the future and musing on the steps that need to be taken to get there. It’s going to be quite an adventure. Are you up for it?

So how do we get from blank piece of paper to fully fledged smartphone concept device? Here’s how…

Step 2 – How to use our design widget

Each week, here on Conversations, we’ll launch a new widget (as pictured below) focussed on a core aspect of a smartphone, such as its camera or materials. You’ll be able to tweak settings until you find the ‘Perfect Mix’ (with the needle hovering in the green zone) – once you’re happy, hit the ‘Submit’ button and your choices will be combined with those of your fellow readers to generate an ideal feature list. Every Monday a new widget will go live on the Design by Community homepage, so throughout any time during that week you’ll be able to submit your choices. Should you want to change them, you can come back after 24 hours (so long as it’s within that week) and re-sumbit your choices. Submissions close when a new widget is launched on Mondays, so make sure you get in quick and leave your suggestions.


Step 3 – How to keep up to date with the latest developments

We’ll post the results on our Design by Community homepage, fleshing out a product data sheet as we go. It’s here that you’ll be able to keep in the loop with everything related to Design by Community.

During the process you’ll also get to vote on which operating system it should use as well as collaborate to come up with a name for this innovative concept device. Let’s see if we can beat Morph in the cool name stakes!

We’re following a pretty strict timetable, like true designers, so here’s how it’ll play out over the next few months…

Step 4 – Follow the Design by Community timetable

Week 1 – Display and user interface
Week 2 – Size and shape
Week 3 – Materials
Week 4 – Symbian or MeeGo?
Week 5 – Connectivity
Week 6 – Camera
Week 7 – Enhancements
Week 8 – What shall we call it?

Then throughout May 2010 you’ll get to vote for your favourite design sketches of the smartphone concept, as created by the Nokia Design team. The most popular sketch will then be taken away and computer rendered in full 3D to bring your collaborative vision of the future to life.

Start the smartphone concept design process!
Click here to begin

Again, let us re-emphasize, we’re not making a real phone – this design collaboration is going to be a lot of fun, and should ignite some fantastic ideas, brilliant debate and fascinating topics for exploration. We hope you’ll get stuck in, and enjoy the process.

What do you think about this new Design by Community concept exercise? Scribble down your thoughts in our comments section below.