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Next Level Nokia

Introducing co-creation for groundbreaking user-centered smartphone development approach

Client: Nokia

Co-creation
Product Concepting
User Research
nokia image

Challenge

Nokia Inc. engaged Forge CEO Scott Davis to define its mission-critical Nseries device portfolio - a suite of six devices that generated 20% of Nokia's $50 billion annual revenue and nearly 30% of its operating profit. This monumental challenge required future-proofing Nseries global smartphone portfolio years before anything would be in the market to maintain Nokia’s market lead. To meet the challenge, Scott introduced a groundbreaking user-centered approach to product conception and design: co-creation.  

device portfolio

Approach

Unlike other methods that lacked direct user involvement, the new co-creation approach gleaned insights from users early in the product development process. This innovative approach marked the first time Nokia had undertaken such an extensive user-centric initiative.

Scott led a cross-functional team with users worldwide, including Vancouver, Helsinki, New York, London, Mumbai, and Beijing. Scott's method involved: 

  • anticipating future user needs 

  • balancing visionary thinking with technological constraints

  • ensuring the right people were involved within the team and among users

user needs sketch

A crucial aspect of this approach was users sketching their ideal phone with zero technology constraints. These user-generated concept sketches were instrumental in guiding the project's direction. Notably, the concepts created by users transcended cultural and regional boundaries, exhibiting a surprising degree of universality.

Impact

  • Forge realized a significant next level in user-centered design through this process.

  • Nokia decided to prioritize full touchscreen mono-block concepts, influencing its product development direction.

  • Our project equipped Nokia with a powerful tool for future smartphone portfolio development process and creation. 

  • We contributed to the development of the N97 smartphone.

white board sketch
moble app sketch
"This is better than what we got from IDEO.”
- Nokia Executive Leadership
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