RIM’s purchase of TAT (The Astonishing Tribe) led many to believe that RIM used that firm to design the user interface for the BlackBerry PlayBook. Kyle at BBCool noticed that an Ottawa firm is actually claiming on their website to have “led the user experience design effort for the new BlackBerry PlayBook.” RIM has elusively never said one way or the other but that is where assumptions sometimes cloud reality.
We know that RIM has used many firms in the past for design ideas and conceptualization but its interesting to see that the core UI for the BlackBerry PlayBook was driven by a different firm. Teknision mentions on their website that the “BlackBerry Tablet OS is a completely new user experience direction for BlackBerry, which will eventually extend to all RIM devices.” So it looks like we will be seeing a similar UI for BlackBerry smartphones after OS 6.0. Here is what Teknision says about the PlayBook on their site:
Teknision led the user experience design effort for the new BlackBerry PlayBook. Working closely with RIM’s executive team, Teknision provided creative direction, conceptualization and lead design execution for the BlackBerry Tablet OS.
As part of an extended engagement, members of Teknision’s UXD team became part of the PlayBook development team to oversee the design implementation and ensure the design vision and language extends to all aspects of the PlayBook experience.
The BlackBerry Tablet OS is a completely new user experience direction for BlackBerry, which will eventually extend to all RIM devices. The PlayBook engagement resulted in several patents and near unanimous industry acclaim.
With the PlayBook launch just days away it is interesting to see where its pedigree originates from. Having played with a PlayBook I have to commend Teknision on a job well done and RIM for choosing a solid firm. What do you think of the news?