Jhanvi Madan (not her real name), who lives in Mumbai , has been talking on her cellphone. Unknown to her, a stranger on the other side of the road is observing her carefully and taking copious notes.
There’s no cause for alarm, however. The person taking those notes is one of the 320 designers from the world’s largest handset maker, Nokia. Her name is Younghee Jung, and she’s a senior design specialist who flew all the way from the London Design Studio to spend around two weeks in Mumbai and some mofussil areas to understand how Indians use cellphones.
“This is a very common practice among us,” says Nikki Barton, Head of Digital Design, Nokia Design Studio. People and their behaviour “are Nokia’s prime concern”. “We all have different views on how a phone should look and what it should do,” acknowledges Barton, adding: “Nokia has to cater to thousands of users and we have to ensure that all of them are happy.”