HTC’s new design chief will continue the company’s legacy of high-end Android devices, but expects to focus on enhancing and delivering content in future handsets.
The Taiwanese company’s vice president of design, Scott Croyle, will take over for HTC chief innovation officer Horace Luke, who resigned last month for personal reasons.
Luke made many contributions to HTC during his tenure, helping transform HTC from an Asian contract manufacturer to one of the leading smartphone makers. The HTC Desire, Thunderbolt and Evo 3D are just a few of the popular phones Luke helped to develop.
“Horace led HTC through a transition, creating a culture that puts a major emphasis on design,” said Croyle to VentureBeat. “That culture continues to thrive today.”
Croyle expects to build on the foundation laid down by Luke. The company’s design team has a “consumers first” focus, placing emphasis on meeting users’ wants and needs in designing phones that interact seamlessly with how people really use their phones in daily life.
“We focus on the experiences people have while using our products rather than focusing solely on the technology behind it,” said Croyle. “We observe people in their daily lives to have a pulse on what they expect from their mobile devices, which allows us to design a product that is more personalized and can be tailored to a person’s expectations.”
“In this sense, my day-to-day won’t change, given that our ‘consumer first’ focus is core to our DNA,” Croyle added.
While Croyle and Luke shared many of the same design philosophies and practices, Croyle expects to move HTC towards devices that focus on delivering and enhancing content and services on phones. As more consumers use smartphones to stream media, run apps and maintain productivity, HTC devices will be designed to help users access those functions quickly and easily, with hardware that emphasizes more powerful computing.
The company will “concentrate on delivering more content and services into our products, focusing on the user experience,” said Croyle. “For example, larger screens for streaming video and enhancing the entertainment experience and front and rear camera to take advantage of real-time face chatting with friends and family.”
HTC has already embarked on changing some of its design features and content experiences for users. It announced a revamp to its Sense user interface this spring, in a move to create a more distinctive HTC experience among the myriad of Android devices in the market.
HTC will also add Beats audio technology to its phones to boost the handsets’ usage as a music player.
The company will also roll out many devices this fall, in its belief that users need a swath of choices to meet a wide variety of desires. It will release its first phones running on Microsoft’s Windows Phone Mango software, for instance, expanding beyond the Android OS, which may bolster the company as Google gets into the phone hardware business through its Motorola acquisition.
With its emphasis on the broad slate of user experiences, HTC differs from a company like Apple, which offers only variations on its iPhone handset and will release the latest iteration this fall. While its approach means no single HTC handset will dominate the market, the company seems fine with that, content to offer a wide range of phones that fall in with its understanding of consumers.
“The focus on user experience aligns with our idea that one size does not fit all, and people should have choices,” said Croyle.