Mark Bridge writes:
Chinese mobile manufacturer ZTE has just announced a new mobile phone design philosophy. It’s called “Caring, Creative, Simple, Smart” and - let’s be honest - you could say it sounds a little trite.
The announcement was accompanied by a statement attributed to Gao Feng, ZTE Mobile Phone Innovative Design Director.
“The philosophy is based on four core principles”, said Mr Gao. “The ‘caring’ aspect is meant to illustrate our consideration of customer needs. ‘Creative’ is included to emphasize innovation and new designs and the ‘simple’ tenant of the philosophy refers to the sleek, clean appearance of devices. The ‘smart’ pillar refers to designing a product in a way that is intelligent and socially responsible.”
If that was the only quote I’d read about ZTE design, I wouldn’t be writing this.
But it’s not today’s announcement that really caught my eye. When I was doing some research I spotted an interview from December 2009 in which Gao Feng describes the design process as “presenting flowers to lover” - where customers are the lover, products are the flowers and being customer-centred means listening to your lover and giving them what they desire. He later goes on to talk about the challenges of industrial design as “like dancing in handcuffs and shackles”.
A nice turn of phrase... and what appears to be a very practical perspective. On that basis, I’m not sure today’s announcement was really needed. I think ZTE ought to let Mr Gao and his products do the talking next time.