Chinese firm wants your new device to be your best friend, design guru tells CBR.
Huawei has set out its vision for the future of smartphone design, stating that it wants its products to ‘touch the heart’ of customers.
Speaking to CBR at the company’s recent Innovation Day in Milan, Joon Kim, Huawei’s VP of Design, and the brains behind the company’s flagship Ascend P7 device, said that the company’s goal was to foster an "emotional engagement" from consumers towards the products.
"Every time that a user uses their smartphone, they fall in love with our device – that is our ultimate goal," Kim said, adding that the company wanted to ‘intrigue’ consumers so that it would stand out in the crowded smartphone market.
Huawei want to go beyond the typical attachments that users have to smartphones, Kim said, combining a "beautiful" design with great specifications and a great user experience which are all holistically connected.
He highlighted how consumers who were perhaps wary of using an unfamiliar Huawei device were pleasantly surprised with the user experience and the design, likening it to "a life of surprises", as everyone has their own different expectations of what a smartphone should be like.
This extends to Western markets, where Huawei is concentrating a big push, and will double its workforce within the next five years. European consumers are still wary of the old ‘Made in China’ stereotype of cheap, poorly-made goods, Kim admitted, adding that Western consumers also had a "certain perception" about the company, but as Huawei’s brand recognition grows, this perception should soon disappear.
"People are surprised (the Ascend P7) was made in China," he said, "We are truly committed to deliver that true value to our global consumer rather than just a cheap, cheap thing."
"We truly deliver that quality product with the right price."
Kim (below) also revealed that a new Huawei product would be announced in Q3 2014, and would be one that "will surprise global consumers". This could well be the next iteration of the company’s high-end P range following the release of the Ascend P7 later this month, although Kim also hinted that ‘bigger’ announcements would also be coming next year, most likely at Mobile World Congress 2015.
Kim went on to outline his vision of perfect design in a later keynote, naming harmony, unity, balance and rhythm as key influences behind his output, and listing Leonardo da Vinci, Philipe Stark, Dieter Rams, Steve Jobs, and perhaps most surprisingly, Angelina Jolie as his inspirations.
The latter was hailed for the way that her number of facial elements combined to produce a beautiful face (although Kim did state that Jolie was considered "the most attractive woman in the world… several years ago"), much like Huawei’s Ascend P7 included some asymmetrical elements into its design.
The company wanted to introduce some emotion into its devices, Kim said, highlighting its favouring of "squircle" designing, which takes elements of square and circular devices.
"Smartphone design is all about understanding people," he added, "Design should clearly tell the user what the product is about."
"We want to make the right products for the real people."