Nokia Company Logo
Nokia is the worlds largest manufacturer of mobile phones, selling about a third of the world's handsets in 2010.

Like other mobile phone companies they appreciate the benefit of a store for customers to visit and this is especially true of the markets in Russia and Asia. Upon arriving at a Nokia store customers experience funky and cool interior design and of course access to all of the latest Nokia devices. To help enhance the experience through digital technology Nokia turned to the London branch of R/GA, Digital Agency of the Decade.

Touch Screen Air Application

Nokia C3

When visiting a store, especially a mobile phone store, we all want to get out hands on, interact with and get excited about, the wonderful devices to be found. R/GA was tasked with creating a touch screen application that enables access to the features, specifications, applications and accessories of each of the phones available in the store. Customers are able to experience all the combinations available for the devices they are thinking about, and perhaps discover new ones.

Localised Content For A Global Audience

Nokia X6

Each installation of the application is completely customisable to contain localised content, demonstrating devices available in that specific region, linking to available applications and accessories in the relevant language.

Woven into the application is analytics which show each users' journey from the start at the home screen as they explore devices, related applications and accessories various options such as colour and preconfigured packs. Never before have such powerful tools been available to a retailer to understand their customers' browsing priorities in such detail.

As this is a desktop application issues such as the size of the image files, and other assets, are not as important as within a web environment. Fantastic hero shots of the phones are a key aspect of the visual design and I think it is safe to say everyone in the team was taken aback by how exciting Chinese typography looks alongside these images.

Built with Robotlegs

Nokia N8

This is the bit that probably only interests other geeks who are building desktop apps with Adobe Air using AS3. The application framework is quite big, as you can imagine, the brain child of lead developer Mike Lawrence and based on Robotlegs. Also on the team was Karl Freeman who I enjoyed collaborating with many times in 2010.

This was the second project I have been involved in that used Robotlegs and it will come as no surprised to my two colleagues on the project when I say I am not a massive fan. The first project was my own Interactive Map of Carbon Emissions In London and I ended up with something that was almost identical to what I would have built in PureMVC. In this application Michael's approach is very different to mine and it was a real treat to learn and experience first of all someone else's approach.

My conclusion is that Robotlegs is too loose. I love the fact that when using something like PureMVC you can sit down and look at code you did not write and get to grips with it reasonably quickly. Don't get me wrong neither of these frameworks will prevent you from writing bad code but there is too much "invisible automatic magic that just works" going on with Robotlegs. When I am coding this type of things make me feel like I have less control of what's going on.

An advantage the Robotlegs does have over PureMVC is that native events are used as part of the framework. As such as Command can listen for events broadcast by a Proxy which allows one Command to establish a reasonably complex process and react to events that are broadcast. With PureMVC you would need different Commands for each Event/Notification and you could end up with many. An experiment I am going to try soon is whether Signals can bring this functionality to PureMVC.

As you can imagine the "great framework debate" came up many times on this project, and I am sure will rage on in many pubs and bars filled only with spectacled jedi ninjas the world over for a long time to come.

That's one of the nice things about developing with Actionscript 3. You have choices. It's exciting time especially for Air developers with interactive tables, mobile phones and tablets all embracing this fantastic platform.