Mobile Experience Guru Christian Lindholm Taps Into the Future of Interfaces


christianlindholm.jpgIf you’re as interested in the inner workings of the mobile phone business as I am, then there’s a good chance that you are familiar with Christian Lindholm, partner and director at Fjord, a convergence design agency — or if you are a mobile phone user who has bought a Nokia (s nok) device over the past decade or so, then you at least have been exposed to his work. He invented the Nokia Navi-key user interface, and he’s viewed as the father of the Series 60 user interface.

Let’s just say Lindholm knows mobile user interfaces really well. In this video interview, he chats with me about the iPhone, Android, and the current problems Nokia faces. He discusses the Maemo platform, Nokia tablets, and how difficult it is to build a mobile operating system. Lindholm talks about why a typical mobile OS has a shelf life of nearly 10 years, and from that perspective, both Android and the iPhone have a good future. If you have time, watch this video interview with him.



Sorry for being this direct, but isn’t nokia a prisoner of it’s own creation? The nokia UI, combined with it’s ability to develop several different models simultaneously and then organize for low-cost manufacturing is the reason which brought Nokia to the top. What brings you to the top will not necessarily keep you there. The Nokia UI has no more charms than nostalgia, the ability to create diverse product portfolio is now taken for granted and low-cost manufacturing is no secret. At this stage, Nokia doesn’t need evolutionary changes. It needs a revolution. And you can’t get a revolution done with existing thought leaders.


Interesting interview.
Few points.
The problem with big companies and paradigm shifts is identifying shifts. If we think about his example of 5years development for a new OS, how to identify the paradigm which will be helpful 5 years from now? I think what’s missing from the big companies is simple learning, i.e. combing many new ideas into one new structure or model. They expect facts where there are none, so they create Voodoo statistical models for justification where there should be experimentation.

That brings us to search I think the new paradigm for the user is not so much intent, which is the business monetizing model so far. The new paradigm is more having the system doing work for me(search), instead of having to work with the system (GUI office apps).
So his idle screen or your aggregation example all point in that same new direction of the new paradigm to have the system work for me, and new applications will be developed along those lines. Same goes for your task example

For his big now, I could say more about using timing models as logical true, instead boolean 1. But I guess that would blow most peoples mind. So let’s just say, to make it really work one has to change one’s perception of time, think about it as an observed complex model. Makes it easier to filter what’s really important then a continuous time line.
It’s just good to hear that math models and business models seem to converge, assuming he has no math models.


Om, solid and precise questions — nice job.

However, I felt Christian’s viewpoint hasn’t changed in years and he didn’t offer up anything new. Everything he is talking about has already been internalized by the industry… kudos to CL for being first many years ago though.

I do have deep concerns about the ability of RIM and Nokia to quickly innovate their way out of the ditch they’re in. iPhone-grade UI’s are mandatory at this point. If you don’t have that, you’re in deep trouble because the leaders are moving on to focus on sophisticated always-on services and integration. Motorola has actually made some nice progress in this space. Let’s hope Nokia and RIM can catch up, because the Android-crowd is moving almost as fast as Apple.

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