The design tips that made the Nokia 3310 world-beating


The Nokia 3310 cell phone has close to iconic standing. Launched in 2000, it’s among the many best-selling telephones of all time, with 126m items produced. It was famend for being just about indestructible and for launching many people onto the primary rung of our linked life. Many individuals of their 30s and upwards keep in mind it as the primary cool telephone they owned, or the telephone their buddies had that made them jealous.

Rumours have emerged that the telephone is about for a relaunch, although this has but to be confirmed by Nokia. However, with a wealth of intensive know-how packed into at this time’s big alternative of extremely slim smartphones, is there actually nonetheless a marketplace for this Nokia relic?

A part of the enchantment of the 3310 was its simplicity. Not all customers want a fancy gadget which might carry out lots of of various features, significantly older person teams. The truth that the 3310 performs calls and texts alone is probably going nonetheless to be a promoting level for a sure group of customers.

However from a design perspective, the telephone additionally adopted a number of key guidelines of thumb, assembly the wants and needs of customers (user-centred design), slightly than forcing them to undertake new practices. The minimalist display setup made it very simple to rapidly interpret the telephone’s battery and sign standing, and there was little content material so customers didn’t have to recollect difficult routes by menus. The telephone itself was comparatively aesthetically pleasing (for its time), and simply slot in a pocket, in contrast to many present giant smartphones and phablets.

Whereas for many people, touchscreens at the moment are the norm, for others, the swiping, pinching and deciding on of icons is just not intuitive and bears little resemblance to how they work together with the actual world. As a substitute, the 3310 had interesting exhausting buttons which can be easy to the contact however present good bodily suggestions and could possibly be used with out taking a look at them. And in the event you didn’t just like the exhausting buttons, you can all the time customise them with the jelly variations that have been out there.

As talked about, the 3310 was additionally recognized for its robustness. The fragile nature of present sensible telephones is well-known because of the ubiquity of smashed screens and studies of iPhones bending in individuals’s pockets. This was simply not the case for the 3310. One fanatic has even claimed that his telephone continues to be working completely after 17 years of use.

Straightforward to restore and customise.
screw badluck/Flickr, CC BY-SA

Not having to exchange your telephone would additionally enchantment to customers who place a premium on moral concerns, because it means you utilize much less vitality and supplies. The 3310 hardly ever wanted charging in comparison with smartphones and has detachable and replaceable components. This has the added bonus of constructing it simpler to wash and to customize – as an alternative of telephone instances you can purchase a wide range of 3310 physique shells to personalise your telephone. And this meant you can go away secret notes or passwords beneath the quilt, as I used to do.

The opposite component of the telephone many individuals most likely keep in mind is the beloved recreation, Snake. I’m positive lots of you’ll be able to recall hours spent on the varsity bus, or the practice to work chasing apples round a tiny display. Regardless of its restricted graphics and ultra-simple gameplay, it positively rivalled Offended Birds and Flappy Chicken for its addictive nature.

Easy advantages

Snake apart, the options on the 3310 have been after all very restricted in comparison with telephones with superior contact screens and different know-how, and we all know this is a vital consideration for shoppers. However in consequence, a relaunched 3310 can be more likely to be very reasonably priced. And there’s one other potential profit.

I spoke to 1 person who has been utilizing the Nokia 3310 for round ten years, and has had quite a few equivalent handsets throughout this time (being susceptible to shedding them). She highlighted that the telephone restricted her web use in a manner that she felt was good for her. “I discover fixed entry to emails, social media and web typically not nice for my psychological well-being,” she stated. “I feel smartphones kill some alternatives for social interplay or private, quiet reflection.”

Research have proven a hyperlink between smartphone overuse and despair, nervousness and poor sleep. So maybe a telephone just like the 3310 could be a more healthy alternative for many people.

For all of the enchantment of the 3310’s easy, user-centred nature, nonetheless, a relaunch is unlikely to make many individuals quit their smartphones. For a technology that’s hooked on taking selfies, updating social media and understanding precisely what number of minutes they’re from residence, the telephone is unlikely to tick many containers. In any case, if sturdiness and ease have been that essential, why would we’ve given up our treasured 3310s within the first place?


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