Teknision: The designers behind the BlackBerry PlayBook user experience

By Bla1ze on 11 Apr 2011 09:28 pm EDT

If you've been following along with us since the BlackBerry PlayBook rumors started, then the name TAT (The Astonishing Tribe) will be a familiar one. If it's not ringing any bells, then we'll just say they are now most commonly known for developing portions of the BlackBerry PlayBooks user interface -- except, this information is slightly misdirected. As it turns out, TAT's involvement in the BlackBerry PlayBook UI is starting to look rather minimal compared to the involvement of Teknision -- an Ottawa, Ontario, Canada based firm. One look at their site reveals a lot about the company and their involvement in the User Experience Design within the BlackBerry PlayBook.

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.

Teknision also played a big part in building of the BlackBerry PlayBook applications such as, the PlayBook Photo and Music app as well as the BlackBerry PlayBook SDK. Looking at their statement above, it's pretty clear they will be looking to scape down the PlayBook designs to BlackBerry Smartphones. I for one, can't wait to see what they'll be able to come up with -- but it does beg the question on whether or not we'll see more influence from TAT or Teknision in the long run or will it be an amazing mix of both teams coming together to create one simply awesome UI -- time will tell I suppose but in the meantime, we'll be waiting for our PlayBooks so we can enjoy the work. Hit up their site for some of the finer details.

Source: BBCool

Reader comments

Teknision: The designers behind the BlackBerry PlayBook user experience


did anyone notice the battery icon screen cap on their site? 93% of battery is 4 hours, 25 minutes?

...i hope not!....

Thanks for pointing that out. I saw the same thing. That's really scary to look at. The only thing I can think of, is that snapshot was taken at the very early stages of the playbook being brought out. (You can tell by how the os looks, it has been further develeopped today) maybe the battery was not optimized yet at that time and only pushed a maximum of 5 hrs. I think now it should be double.

if you look at the image you will also see the messages, contacts and calendar apps. However there isn't a BlackBerry Bridge tab in the navigation bar. The screenshot is likely a UI rendering as opposed to a screenshot of a live PlayBook. Seeing as these guys created the UI they are very well capable of mocking up some screenshots.

If you read the discussion in the forum or the New York Times article today, the playbook's battery will last 8 to 10 hours. One of the rep's actually said if it's not continuous use (i.e. continuous for 8 to 10 hours), it can be quite a bit longer.

New York Times Article:
Apple mobile devices cannot display Flash content, in part because Apple says it strains batteries. Mr. Lazaridis said the QNX system takes a low-power approach; according to R.I.M., the PlayBook has a battery life of 8 to 10 hours, while Apple says the iPad 2 lasts 10 hours.

notice the battery on the status bar is gray, and not green, and there isn't a screen lock option as well, and the little rectangle for the app menu is gray, and not blue. This is an old picture, of an earlier build, and i'm guessing it's before RIM placed their "energy management" magic on the device.

Hmm. External team is risky. What's to stop Apple, Google or Microsoft from buying these guys out and sweeping the carpet out from RIM's feet? (too small to trigger any anti-competitive scrutiny). So - If they are that important, bring them onboard!

Learn more about RIM, please.

RIM bought The Astonishing Tribe, the people who made the original Android UI and the WP7 UI.

RIM has everything in order...

If you guys look carefully, you will realize that this company did work with QNX before for the in-car infotainment systems. That's probably how RIM got them to work on the playbook. RIM didn't acquire TAT till late last year, and so one would expect Teknision to have done the bulk of the work.

Does it really matter? Depending on the contract the work probably can't be used for anyone else, its not like tat just stops work on prior contracted worked owed to other companies. If the talent is bought out, oh well but the assets are still there.

Uh. We're not talking about TAT. We're talking about Teknision, and you're right, it doesn't really matter. Just a simple question looking for a simple answer - anyone know if RIM owns Teknision or not?

Oh i thought Palm led the User experience design on the playbook.(just kidding)

as long as there's consistency across their brands than it should be good. working on a playbook interface, hopefully they understand that not all of that can work on a smaller screen esp one that is meant as a phone first.

i quite like OS 6 design and hopefully when they start bringing over QNX that not all is lost and that elements stay the same. Im assuming the specialise menu panes found on both will be sticking around.

Perhaps T.A.T. Is there 2 beef up apps for RIM. They did show us some pretty sweet apps at CES afterall. Perhaps TAT will give u the option 2 buy UI upgrades and such. Like that awesome media browser they showed or the weather app. I think its a good Idea.

Totally forgot about that media browser, that was pretty awesome wasn't it. I'm extremely please RIM bought TAT, I'm sure we'll be seeing some real good products coming from RIM/TAT/QNX. The competition should be worried!