ery Human Technology - How Nokia is facing the population ageing.


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Petra Söderling, Nokia. An online chapter of "Challenges for Assistive Technology", AAATE 2007 conferene proceedings.

Volume 20 Assistive Technology Research Series, Edited by: G. Eizmendi, J.M. Azkoitia and G.M. Craddock
October 2007, 972 pp., hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-58603-791-8

Published in: Technology, Business
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ery Human Technology - How Nokia is facing the population ageing.

  1. 1. Very Human Technology - How Nokia is facing the population ageing. Petra SÖDERLING Nokia Research Center Abstract. At Nokia we believe that technology exists for the benefit of humankind, and that empathy for the human condition is paramount to our success. Connecting is about human relationships, and helping people feel close to what matters. With our track record, Nokia is the company best positioned to create very human technology. Keywords: Mobile phones, mobile services, design for all, universal design, design for all, inclusive design, ageing, disability Introduction In a world where everyone can be connected to everything, Nokia takes a very human approach to technology. We believe that technology exists for the benefit of humankind, and that empathy for the human condition is paramount to our success. Connecting is about human relationships, and helping people feel close to what matters. Human aspiration is about making more of life, together – interdependence, sharing, collaborating, connecting emotionally. When we make mobile technology second nature, people can focus on engaging with what matters most to them. ‘Human technology’ & ‘human’ are not new concepts for Nokia. We see human technology as a benefit from products that adapt to people – reflect human needs and behaviours, benefit from products that are objects of desire – beautifully styled, aesthetically appealing, tactile, and products that are intuitive and easy to use – familiar, functional, easy to connect to, and the benefit of enjoying an individual experience – personalisation of external appearance, individualisation of user interface & services.
  2. 2. With our track record, we are the company best positioned to create very human technology. That means we must observe first and then design. Design products and experiences people fall in love with. 1. Nokia Today 1.1. Way of life We are living an era where the ability to connect, the availability of media, the nature of media, the whole context of mobility is rapidly changing in a global scale. There’s about 3 billion mobile subscriptions globally. The next billion connections are coming fast, at the current rate of 1 million a day or, practically 10 per second. Having a mobile, and being connected is an integral way of life, embedded in our cultures across the world. On any given day, more than 900 million people around the world are using Nokia devices.1 1.2. Our vision In this world of changes, Nokia’s vision is a world where everyone can be connected. According to estimates, connectivity will become truly ubiquitous and global: by 2010 the number of mobile subscriptions globally has increased to 4 billion2. And in 2015, just 8 years from now, a total of 5 billion people will be always connected, either through wireless or fixed line connections3. And as the variety of things people accomplish with their mobile devices becomes increasingly rich, network traffic is going to increase 100 fold.4 1.3. Our promise This future is positive for each and every individual in the world because everyone has a need to communicate and share. This is an universal need respecting no boundaries. Our promise is to help people to fulfill this need, to help them feel close to what matters to them. This is our unique viewpoint into a connected world, we help people to be truly connected in a way that is very personal to them. Our approach to make this promise a reality is three-fold. First, we use consumer understanding to drive all that we do. By understanding how the context of mobility is changing, we can serve the needs of the people. Second, we take a very human approach to technology by creating products and experiences that people can fall in love with, making them simple and intuitive to use. Third, we see the Internet as our 1 May, 2007 2 Nokia estimate November 2006 3 Nokia Siemens Networks estimate 2007 4 Nokia Siemens Networks estimate 2007
  3. 3. quest, our big journey that we are already on. This means that our devices will become primary devices to access Internet. To achieve this we are introducing consumer Internet services and are driving a collaborative Internet culture within the company. Nokia’s strategic intent is to be the leader in usability and user-friendliness for every consumer group. 1.4. Nokia’s businesses Nokia’s strategy today comprises of four businesses. The first one, “Lead and win in devices”, looks at how we need to grow and transform the device business. Build upon the world’s best portfolio of leading individual products recognized for superior mobile experiences, ease of use, design and quality. The second business is “Grow consumer Internet services”. The intent is that by 2010, Nokia will be the global leader in Internet on mobile, and capture a meaningful and increasing share of the total consumer Internet services market. The third area, “Accelerate the adoption of business solutions”, is based on the fact that the business mobility market is now entering a new stage, where it addresses a large number of mobile workers. To succeed in this business, we need for example to provide an integrated user experience, as well as an open, extensible mobileware platform. The fourth area is “Leverage scale and transform to solutions in infrastructure”. Nokia Siemens Networks and Nokia are independent companies, yet they work closely together and gain mutual benefit from cooperation. 1.5. Nokia’s strategic capabilities Strategic capabilities are areas where we invest into for gaining competitive advantage. 1.5.1. Consumer understanding Consumer understanding is key for us. It is clear that consumers do not want technology, they (we) want iconic experiences and intuitiveness of use. We should observe first, then design. We need to expand the consumer understanding from mere device capabilities and features into services experiences. Driving consumer relationship is becoming more important as an increasingly larger proportion of consumers also in developing markets already have a mobile phone. Understanding people’s needs in different environments and under different circumstances is essential to successful relationship. 1.5.2. Brand Nokia’s aim is to become the most loved and admired brand, and very human technology is the way to get there. We want to create products that adapt to people and reflect human needs and behaviours. We want people to benefit from products that are
  4. 4. beautifully styled, aesthetically appealing, and tactile. Our products need to be intuitive and easy to use. This means familiar and functional products that are easy to connect to, and that enable seamless movement between applications & tasks. We want to create products that offer an individual experience where one can personalize their external appearance, individualisation of user interface and the services running on phone and in the internet. 1.5.3. Technology Technology can obviously be named as a strategic capability for Nokia. Technology has many roles for us in different phases of the adoption curve. Nokia introduces and nurtures many novel technologies, and takes them to standardization and other further development. In this early phase we are shaping the future technology landscape. For example integrated mobile maps and navigation technologies could be positioned here. When the technology matures it is expected to create differentiation generating revenue through new premium features, smaller size, or better performance. Finally, in mature and high volume markets cost advantage play a role. Here is where products are made with a platform approach, design-for-manufacturing, competitive sourcing, standard interfaces, optimized parts, reuse etc. These factors enable Nokia to deliver products on a larger scale than any other CE company. 1.5.4. Open platforms for developers Through all of these technology adoption phases, developers and 3rd parties can unleash their creative genius utilizing Open Platform for Innovation such as the S60 software platform and the Maemo platform for open source applications, running on Nokia Internet tablets. Nokia has always stood for openness and open standards and firmly believes all the innovation cannot come from one company. We believe in shared innovation, and in jointly growing the business. Examples of applications developed for S60 include the Nuance Talks, Code Factory’s mobile speak, Mobile Vital Sign Tracking System by San Diego State University, and Mobile Health Monitoring developed in University of California San Diego. 2. Customer understanding and Product segmentation Nokia is in the business of helping people feel close to what matters. We do this by offering products and solutions that people will want to use because they feel these enable them to achieve, connect, explore and live enjoyable moments. 2.1. Customer understanding research Nokia’s current product portfolio builds on extensive research for understanding the customer. When designing our current product segmentation over 77,000 people were interviewed for 1,5 hours each, in 21 countries. This study, conducted in two
  5. 5. waves during 2005 and 2006, provided 10 billion data points to help Nokia understand better the various socio-cultural issues, mobile phone usage scenarios, different market dynamics and the general lifestyle of people all over the world. It was to our knowledge the largest consumer study ever done in the ICT or telecommunications industry. A grid with two axis was used to distribute and evaluate the data. The vertical axis is based on human behavior and represents the level of involvement, while horizontal axis measures attitude and would represent people’s level of rational and aspiration. Key findings from the second wave of this study revealed that there is a global increase in people’s level of involvement and use of different mobile phone functions & features. During 2006 the emergence of groups named ‘Technology Stylists’, ‘Life Jugglers’ and ‘Mature Acceptors’ provided interesting information to Nokia’s device designers. Also the fact that consumers in emerging markets became more aspirational means that one cannot assume any longer that people in emerging markets would automatically want basic devices. In addition to this massive research, tens of other projects are running in parallel as an ongoing efforts to stay up to speed on people’s hope and wishes, behaviors, styles, preferences etc. These studies are done all over the world in different cultures and environments. 2.2. Product segmentation The key driver for Nokia to introduce product segments is to make the choice easy for customers and consumers. By basing our offering on customer and consumer insight, we hope to help people find the best product for their needs. There are four different categories: Live, Connect, Achieve and Explore. They each address a specific set of consumer needs and aim in all ways – visually, verbally, sonically, by movement and behavior – to communicate their proposition to people in a compelling and differentiated way. These four categories also help in our effort to shift the value proposition from mere product to an experience embracing more than just the product’s technical capabilities. It is important to notice that Nokia does not utilize customer segmentation, but product segmentation. One person can well own mobile phones from different categories, or a person who is very rational and entertains low involvement could own a phone from the high involvement, aspirational area because of a unique reason. Nokia does not actively promote the four categories to consumers as the intention is for every phone to represent its category via its features, design, and usage scenarios. 3. Inclusive design We at Nokia believe that design has two complementary natures: it needs to be about practical intelligence, providing people solutions that they need but don’t necessarily know to expect; additionally, it must provide aesthetic delight – whatever we create
  6. 6. must give people delightful sensory experience. Nokia is an innovator and creator of trends, demonstrated both by artistic and commercial success that has made us number one in this market, and the many awards our designs have received. I dear to claim have a very competitive design portfolio addressing the needs of many different types of consumers. There’s a clear demand for simple and truly beneficial technology. Information society is moving from technology driven to consumer driven. Purchase decisions are more and more based on benefits, what the phone can do for you, and not on technology, i.e. what the phone can do. People are increasingly turning their backs on products that are too difficult to use. We aim to design products that will learn about you so that you do not need to learn about the product. In addition to benefit vs. technology, a need for cultural diversity is being recognized as a design driver. Nations, cultures and religions keep mixing together, and good designers need to be able to mix symbols and fashions in order to create culturally diverse, or acultural products and services. We understand the need for products that can be understood and used by all representatives of different cultures, and the need for products that are discreet in all contexts. There’s a change in the attitudes and lifestyles of the aging population. Older people are becoming mentally younger, and teens are spotted using products that are usually associated with older people (for example heavy eye-glasses, big fur hats, Hush Puppies shoes, using socks with slippers outdoors etc.). Two out of three over 50-year- old Europeans think that companies don’t take care of their needs when designing products and services. Physical age does affect the requirements of products because sooner or later every person is developing limitations in vision, hearing, dexterity and learning. However age is not the starting point, good design to accommodate all human functions is. 4. Making accessibility business as usual for Nokia Accessibility cuts through all areas of Nokia, its customers and partners. The company’s Group Executive Board has approved an accessibility strategy for ensuring that the topic is integrated in the various cycles within and around the company. We aim higher than just complying with the regulations. By living up to our own standards and being voluntarily active, we can set the direction to the Information and Communications Technologies industry on how to implement best practices. Nokia’s strategic intent is to be the leader in usability for every consumer group. We will reassume our market leadership in usability and user-friendliness for all consumer groups. We take accessibility to the forefront in mobile phone and converged device design and turn it into our long-term competitive advantage. Our intent is to raise accessibility to be an integral element in the Nokia Design DNA. In order to become the world’s most loved brand and reach the target 40% global market share, Nokia has to be able to provide connectivity for all groups of people. This is consistent with Nokia’s aim for “emotional engagement” at the heart of our brand. Nokia’s aspiration of becoming the world’s most loved brand requires an approach which stretches beyond products and solutions to a mindset of doing more and proactively anticipating market movements.
  7. 7. Nokia is already now offering a variety of assistive software and products, such as audio aids, visual aids and inductive loopsets. Making accessibility business as usual means that usability is deployed in product planning, open software platforms for 3rd party developers, in active participation to standardization, long term research and marketing activities. 5. Summary Over 900 million people use a Nokia mobile phone every day. The number of mobile users is increasing on a rapid scale. With its track record in mobile technology R&D and design combined with the current market situation, Nokia is in a key position to influence what types of mobile devices and services are being developed. The ageing population is not a homogenous group of people. People over 50, 60, 70 and 80 years old have as different preferences, lifestyles, and everyday patterns as people in younger age groups. The only common factor is the potential functional limitations. Nokia’s strategy has for some time been to connect people, make them feel close to what matters by utilizing very human technology. We want to offer products that are easy to use by anyone, that are intuitive and sensitive to the users’ needs and grow with them. By introducing accessibility to Nokia Design DNA, we are strengthening this vision. This is Very Human Technology in practice.