Interview with Miika Mahonen, Chief Designer of Nokia Mobile

12. 09. 2021 Sunday / By: Robert Denes / Generic / Exact time: BST / Print this page

On Sunday’s “evening,” read this interview that Nokia Mobile will post on the Nokia official forum with its lead designer, Miika Mahonen. Miika Mahonen is also behind the design of the Nokia XR20 and other Nokia smartphones, such as the Nokia 7.2, Nokia 6.2, Nokia 800 Tough, Nokia G10 and Nokia G20.

Miika Mahonen, chief designer at Nokia Mobile, revealed interesting things about herself on the community forum and loves dirt bikes and skiing. Miika turned 40 this year and currently lives in Espoo, Finland. Miika Mahonen spoke about the design principles followed by HMD Global when designing smartphones. He mentions that the approach is to create durable and beautiful Nokia smartphones for a lifetime.

Hello Miika! Tell us, in a nutshell, who are you?

Finnish industrial designer. Currently Principal designer at HMD Global. Last project I worked on and finished was the XR20. Just turned 40 this year and currently live in Espoo Finland.

What’s your Nokia story?

My first phone was a Nokia. I was 16 when I got my dad´s old 8800i. It was so cool at the time :D I remember it dropped from my pocket when riding a motorcycle and we found it the next day wet in a ditch next to the road after a rain. I just put the battery back in and it worked perfectly. Really unbreakable!

I have had many Nokia phones; the latest one before the Android models was a white Lumia 1020. Really loved that phone too – minimalistic design and a great camera. Now I am using the XR20 in the Ultra Blue color.

Tell us what the journey has been like to get to where you are today…

I studied product design in Finland and my first job was in a yacht company. When I turned 28, I packed my bags and went to the United States to get a master’s degree in Industrial Design. After graduating I ended up working in Asia for 8 years. Now, I’m back in Finland and working at HMD Global HQ in Espoo.

The mobile device industry has evolved dramatically in the past 5 years or so. How have you approached change?

The development and evolution have been so remarkable. We might feel the devices haven’t changed so much in the past few years but when you really think about the functions, features, and services, it is a huge leap forward. Especially smartphones – they have become “tools for life” which you use to handle everything. Besides all your communication needs, you handle finances, medical issues, transportation - pretty much everything through the phone these days.

At HMD Global, our approach is to create these durable and beautiful objects for daily life. The XR20 is a great example of this. Mobile productivity that can handle anything. Secure and durable but also beautiful and refined. Something that feels personal and one that the user can be proud to carry.

Even personally, the XR20 type smartphone is exactly what I have been looking for. I might be in a cold place, on a ski ****, sending messages of new ideas to my co-workers. Or hiking and answer a few emails in the pouring rain. Great user experience in any conditions and I don’t have to worry about my phone breaking down.

How do you see HMD Global and Nokia Mobile growing as a consumer brand?

One of the things I love working on is bringing new and unique devices and services to market. We are working hard to improve the Nokia mobile products and evolve them for the future while celebrating the essential values like durability and simplicity. Also, we want to reinvent how Nordic design looks and feels in the future. Every product is important for us, and we want to make something that users can enjoy for a long time.

Read on for the interview by clicking on the link below!


further interview

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