Tag: teknision

Another Ottawa Firm Working with RIM on Future User Interface Designs

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It’s surprising how the City of Ottawa is making headway with RIM’s UX for the PlayBook and upcoming devices. When we first wrote about Teknision, the company responsible for much of the UX work, it seemed people were pretty stunned that it wasn’t TAT, the design firm that RIM is constantly touting in its press releases. It seems another Ottawa company, YOU i Labs, a company that helped work on the HTC Sense UI, has entered in a “significant partnership” with RIM. YOU i Labs works closely with Teknision, as seen in the above video.

Perhaps Ottawa is on the right path to reclaiming the Silicon Valley North title.

Interview with Teknision and the Story of RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook UX

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Watch an interview with Teknision’s Presidet, Gabor Vida.

When we first wrote about Teknision, and their involvement in the PlayBook UX, the article got a ton of exposure because it was thought that RIM’s acquisition of The Astonishing Tribe (TAT) meant that they were solely responsible for the UX. Since then, I have sat down with Teknision’s President Gabor Vida, to talk about Teknision as a company, its involvement in the PlayBook, and a little about their thoughts on design. We also discuss why we haven’t heard more about this company.

One thing that became really obvious to me about UX design for a product like the PlayBook, is that the average consumer has very little idea how many companies, people and design iterations it will come across before it gets to market. Before Teknision or TAT got a hold of the PlayBook, there was another company called Artefact that briefly touched the tablet as well.
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Early PlayBook Reviews Say Excellent Hardware But Software Needs Updates

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playbook in store
pic by @andydubz

I’ve been reading reviews of the PlayBook and they all seem to bring to be saying the same thing: the hardware is amazing but the software needs work. The first thing I thought while reading those reviews was, “that’s exactly how I felt about the Torch.”

The BlackBerry Torch is a great example of how it doesn’t really pay to be an early adopter. Almost as soon as the device launched, the carriers pushed out an official update to the OS. Even today, I find the Torch could use a minor update or two to help with some of the small software bugs I find. It’s not an early adopter friendly strategy, but RIM has always been pretty good about pushing updates soon after launch. After about 6 months of the device being on the market, RIM has patched the vast majority of the bugs and it’s what you wanted it to be at launch. Remember the Storm? It took a while but eventually an OS update made the Storm worth using. The Storm OS at launch was pretty abysmal though.

Here are some review quotes coming in about the PlayBook:
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Teknision: The Company Behind the PlayBook UX Design

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teknision

A little known fact about the BlackBerry PlayBook is that the company that led the User Experience design is an Ottawa firm called Teknision. The company worked closely with RIM’s executive team and provided creative direction, conceptualization and lead design execution for the Tablet OS.

While we all know that the QNX operating system will come to smartphones, what isn’t clear is how it will actually look on the device. From Teknision’s site, they drop the hint that the UX will be similar. The company writes: “The BlackBerry Tablet OS is a completely new user experience direction for BlackBerry, which will eventually extend to all RIM devices.” From the small handling we’ve done of the PlayBook, the UX has been great and it will be interesting to see how it works on a small screen. Touchscreen and QWERTY hybrids are probably going to play a role in all this.
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