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BlackBerry PlayBook User Interface Designed by Teknision


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?

11 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. funny thing is that the basic playbook ui is very similar to that of os6, particularly the panels/launcher

  2. Battery gives 4 hrs and 25 minutes at 93%? does that mean that fully charged is only a 5 hr tablet?

    • I was wondering the same thing myself Mangu. That’s definitely not a real screenshot but that’s weird to see since we’ve been hearing the battery life is 8-10 hours.

      Its also strange to see an exact estimate as it depends on what you’re doing to determine how much battery time there is remaining. eg. Browsing takes less juice than gaming.

      • The battery indicator is dynamic. The estimated time remaining will change based on the number/type of apps that you have running. Higher processor demand means higher cost to battery life. Be careful of people trying to compare battery life between the iPad and PlayBook. The iPad by default cannot do true multi-tasking and should be compared on single app processor load.

  3. what did tat contribute then?

    • I believe TAT’s main focus was on PlayBook apps. But, they also put the finishing touches on the PlayBook’s UI.

  4. I went to the Best Buy Tustin california store and Played with Blackberry demo unit for more than an Hour. It is simply amazing. Whether you like or dislike RIMM Check Blackberry Playbook. I played with all 3 devices IPAD2, MOTO Xoom and PLAYBOOK, Playbook is more Responsive superior in almost every catagory. Give Your Opinion after trying it,not just you don’t like RIMM

  5. Well, it seems to me that they did a pretty good job. I think I’ll hold any definitive comments though until I actually get my hands on one.

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