How to get that Nokia feeling - Design and UX

Hi everyone, @Perfection wrote some great 
posts and Nokia's heritage in @"matteo.m" 's Snake discussion:

How to get that Nokia feeling - Design and UX

madbilly madbilly
Super User  / 
Hi everyone,

@Perfection wrote some great posts and Nokia's heritage in @matteo.m 's Snake discussion:
But we weren't discussing Snake! So I started up another thread here to continue the discussion.

So to continue, I want my Nokia to feel like a Nokia. Not just in how the hardware looks and feels, but also in how the software looks and feels to use. Software-wise I'd love to see HMD make a UI for their phones which follows on from the Nokia heritage, an evolution from Symbian Belle (widgets), Meego (the Swipe UI), Asha/X (the FastLane), the Z Launcher and even Windows Live Tiles.

Now I know that there are many people who buy the current Nokia phones because they want a "pure" Android experience (whatever that really is) so they won't agree with anything I post here. Because of that I imagine that HMD won't do this, at least not as part of their stock OS, but I would love to see this available as an optional install from the app store.

Here's a mockup or my proposed UI:

Note that this is almost identical to the Sailfish OS UI, so it may be quicker for HMD to work with Jolla to get Sailfish OS on modern Nokia phones! ;)

Cheers :smiley:


  • Manus Manus
    ✭✭✭  / 
    I'm already in :D 
  • Manus Manus
    ✭✭✭  / 
    To be honest even though I liked the predictive nature of the a launcher I didn't like the drawing feature, its not fluid or fast.
    Right now I'm using a launcher similar to that, it's called Niagara launcher and it has that same prediction based application offering on the home screen but its app drawer is different.
    Actually it doesn't have an app drawer you just have swipe from the edges of the screen to open a vertical app list.Here's a screen shot;
    When things come to the fast reach to the apps this ui is faster than the z launcher ui.
    And I have some interesting ui ideas too. For example having that panaromic gallery, media hub would be great here's a rough drawing.
    As you can see its pretty clean and futuristic, unlike the buttonfest we have right now with the Google's material design ui.

  • madbilly madbilly
    Super User  / 
    I think I tried Niagara launcher but I didn't realise it worked like that. I will try it again.

    I like your ideas for app UIs which follow a similar model to the traditional Nokia swipe UI layout, I think that would work well. To differentiate between swiping between screens within an app and to exit the app to go to the homescreen, fastlane or task switcher would require subtle differences in how the swipes worked, maybe like Sailfish do where the left/right of the top swipe has a different action to the centre.
  • Manus Manus
    ✭✭✭  / 
    Even though I like the fast lane I'm not sure if it would be as effective as in the past.
    I mean you don't have to add a completely dedicated page for it, with a live tile like popup widget you can very well get the same result with less page.
    And I think the notifications are should pop up right under the clock-date wheather widget.

    İ developed this concept with a couple of different ui styles; swipe navigation and transitions of meego, live feed of meego and wp live tiles (I've merged them together), app drawer and menu style of Niagara launcher which resembles the wp all applications page a lot.

    First home page arrangement; 
    We got 3 areas: category 1 interaction areas; the type of interaction that you do actively one or two times at day such as opening your alarms or calendar but also the type of interaction you do all the times passively such as looking for the time and date and weather.
    Category 2 interaction areas; the type of interaction you do just actively by choice, such as making a call via pop up window of phone icon or opening your browser, or media player.
    And category 3 interaction; type of interaction that is actually requires your active attention for that time, such as your new notifications, emails, missed calls or changing the current playing song in your media player app.
    When things come to arranging these interactive areas it's easy actually you have to put most passive ones to on top of the screen, the area you can't reach easily but you cab take a glance at easily. That's why you need to put the time and wheather widgets ton there (and wheather widgets should show the next 5days' forecast trough the widgets, theres no point of checking the current wheather via widgets while you can already learn via looking at the outside)
    Next we got cat2 interactive area; your most used apps, such as phone, browser, media apps;these apps' icons doesn't required to be on your direct line of sight but you have to be able to easily reach them with your thumb, when you use them you want to use-reach the necessary app as easy as possible so putting them on to bottom of the display would be better; best way to reach with your thumb whatever size display your phone has.
    Next we got cat3; Everyone pays attention to their missed calls, new notifications and the current music that they are listening more than the other apps at that specific time, they interact with the new notifications and stuff more than any other apps at that moment, either they replay the current new what'sapp messages, call back their missed calls or opening up and reading the email that they just got or regardless of any other of these clear all the notifications.
    So putting these elements on the most active area of the screen is the best; right in the middle of your screen, between the cat1 and 2 interaction areas, you cab really easily see and read them, and again easily touch and response or clear them.
    Easy, simple, effective.
    Way way better than what we have with Android, regardless of the oem version.

    And all half interactive application icons on the menu should have the same gesture based pop up menus that Niagara launcher has; swipe right to open a mini menu such as your most called contacts on the phone icon or your latest messages on the what's app, or your playlists on the media player or display the latest notification you have. 

    The rest of navigation is pretty similar to the your new concept but slightly different.
    Meego and fast lane was amazing in the past, the day they were introduced but right now the are kinda average and I suspect if they work as good as they did with their original platforms.
    First recent apps should be opened via swiping up from the bottom of the display, its easy and everyone would know where it is.
    Swiping from the right side to the middle of the screen should be a back key, swiping from the right low side to the top of the display should be a home gesture,and swiping from the right-upper side to the bottom should open the application list regardless of which app-page we are in.
    I left the left side idle because you can't easily reach there.
    But fear not lefties :D you can put all the gestures to the left side too.
    Actually all of the gestures should be customizable. And those who want should be able to put the navigation buttons too.

    Oh forgot the add the notifications won't be on the quick settings panel, it only slows down the user, you know? All that pull, to open the mini page you can't touch and pull again to brought it all the way down. Quick settings panel will be dedicated to change the quick settings such as usual connection, on of settings and audio volume levels and brightness and stuff.And displaying the current battery percentage and mAh. And storage. 

    Soo  what do you think? 

  • madbilly madbilly
    Super User  / 
    Nice ideas, well thought through. I'm struggling to visualise all the interaction possibilities you describe so maybe it's a little too complex, or I just need to draw my own mockups to try and understand. For example, you write that swipe from left can be used to get to both the notificaitons list and the last used app - what's the difference in these gestures?

    For the homescreen I think I prefer widgets/live tiles which can be arranged according to preference, this way the user can choose to do as you describe, or something different - maybe the default layout can follow your ideas here.

    I was wrong about Niagara launcher - I haven't used it yet, so I need to try it to see what these gestures are that you describe. Mini-swipe on an icon sounds like it might be awkward, why not long press for this function?

    Swipe up from bottom to get recent apps is a good idea. I did originally have the app drawer down there, which could be organised according to preference  (alphabetical, most recent, most frequent, Z-launcher algs., etc) but I was worried it was one gesture too many, which is why I just moved it to being underneath the homescreen and it could be scrolled down to. However, the way you describe might work well.

    Swiping left to go back will be confusing to anyone coming from Lumia won't it? I thought that swiping right was back in WP Edge browser? Any gesture like this needs to be universal throughout the OS, not only in the launcher.

    I like the idea of gestures dedicated to returning to home screen or app list, but to use these from any screen requires the user to remember lots of options. It also prevents these gestures being used inside any apps. Still, it's possible because I think Sailfish do something like this.

    For your notifications list I like Fastlane because it includes not only notifications history but also my activities. It could also include future events taken from calendar. The live feed of the N9 evolved into Fastlane I think.
  • Manus Manus
    ✭✭✭  / 
    Swiping from left while in the home screen or any other app-menu takes you back to the last used app.
    Swiping from the left while quick settings panel takes you to a scrollable event list like we had with the n9 and fast lane.
    You're right about the fast lane, it was the next version of the live feed page of n9.
    I know that fastlane shows the calendar notifications too, if you didn't see I added it in there too. 

    Actually this is just the default layout, every user should have an access to settings of this ui.

  • Manus Manus
    ✭✭✭  / 
    You already have an option for the long press gesture of the icons; its the app options, see;

    The stock Android ui uses long press for the mini menu and I don't like it.
    İt's not natural.
  • madbilly madbilly
    Super User  / 
    @Shakthi7 I assume you're posting here because you can't start a thread. First, you should do a search, you will see that there are hundreds, probably thousands of people asking for call recording and app lock using fingerprint - just post in one of those existing threads.
  • Kartik Gada Kartik Gada
    Super User  / 

    Check this @madbilly
    This is how I want the UI to be.  want icons to be Squircles but that shape wasn't available in Paint so made them like this for fun. The top notifications panel is a pain to reach with one hand so this can be useful. I forgot to add the navigation keys but that's the new gesture-based navigation introduced with Pie. also the notification icons for battery, messages, time, network, wifi, Bluetooth, etc will stay at the top as usual. Nokia can use the manual slider mechanism for the front-facing camera. :)
  • madbilly madbilly
    Super User  / 
    @Manus thanks for explaining about the long press vs mini-swipe. I'm not sure which I prefer - I need someone to make this so I can test it ;)

    @Kartik Gada thanks for joining in :) I quite like the hexagons actually, but they may be a bit too CyanogenMod, not very Nokia. I like the simplicity of your UI idea and I think it would work really well. However, does it build on the history of Nokia's UX design? How is this an evolution of Nokia's own UIs?
  • Kartik Gada Kartik Gada
    Super User  /  edited March 2019
    madbilly said:
    @Manus thanks for explaining about the long press vs mini-swipe. I'm not sure which I prefer - I need someone to make this so I can test it ;)

    @Kartik Gada thanks for joining in :) I quite like the hexagons actually, but they may be a bit too CyanogenMod, not very Nokia. I like the simplicity of your UI idea and I think it would work really well. However, does it build on the history of Nokia's UX design? How is this an evolution of Nokia's own UIs?
    I have mentioned about the icons. Actually sqircles would look very nice on this design but Paint doesn't have that shape 😅 so i used hexagon to make it look different. Coming to swipe ui, yes, it is an evolution on Nokia's own MeeGo which used Swipes even for navigation. 😊
    Nokia's design is always about simplicity. So, keeping only the most necessary function is the way to go. 
  • I like Nokia Fastlane interface which is used in Nokia Asha and Lumia Series.

  • madbilly madbilly
    Super User  / 

    Hi @Calvin Quililan,

    Yes Fastlane is good, the X version better than the Asha one as it's more capable. Both a good development on the N9 swipe UI.

    Maybe the rumour I read about HMD developing their own launcher will be true and we will see a return of this kind of concept!

    Cheers 🙂

  • Kartik Gada Kartik Gada
    Super User  /  edited April 2021

    It's good to see you still around @madbilly :)

    Fastlane would be the perfect way to replace that google home section on the home screen which I have kept disabled. 😜

    Did you read the rumour of a custom UI on NPU? I don't think that's true. It would be much easier for HMD to use some pre made custom ui on their phones. Like Indus OS or Lineage OS. Saves time as well as money. Just make necessary customisations like in this case adding fastlane. 😁

  • madbilly madbilly
    Super User  / 

    Hi @Kartik Gada,

    Yes it might have been on NPU. Strange for them to post a rumour like that without it being based on something sensible though, they don't like being wrong...

    Yes I imagine if HMD do make their own UI they'll start off with something open source, but which uses a permissive rather than copyleft licence so they don't need to release source code for their version later.

    Cheers 🙂

  • joe367 joe367
    ✭✭✭  / 

    I really liked Niagra launcher. They can even try and work with any existing launchers and develop a custom launcher for Nokia devices. Razer phone did something like that, their stock launcher was based on Nova launcher prime.

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