Designing for Millions of People


Raphael Grignani, Nokia


Today four billion people have a mobile phone and 80% of the global population live within cellular network coverage. The desire to communicate personally and conveniently is as relevant to a banker in New York as a farmer on the outskirts of Mumbai. The global spread of mobile communication has changed our perception of distance and time and had a profound impact on the world around us – economically, socially, and culturally.

As mobile ownership continues to rise around the world, more and more designers are required to move from designing artifacts or services to creating new behaviors, experiences, and emotions that are utile, relevant, and meaningful… often for people and places far away.

This workshop will explore opportunities and challenges of designing mobile experiences and services for billions of people. With a focus on emerging markets, Raphael Grignani will introduce insights and examples, share some best practices and engage participants in team hands-on exercises to analyze raw ethnographic data, develop concise and user-centered concepts, and create the perfect pitch.


Raphael Grignani established the Nokia Design studio in San Francisco in 2008, where he leads a multidisciplinary design team that works across the Nokia organization to clarify and translate business opportunities through design.

His experience at Nokia ranges from product and interaction design to exploratory human behavioral field research. He also worked on long-term design concepts such as the Homegrown project where we looked at how environmental and social issues may change mobile design in the coming years. Before joining Nokia in Helsinki in 2002, Raphael provided digital design leadership through concepting and co-development for clients including Razorfish, Adcore, and Asema.

Raphael earned a MA from the University of Art and Design, Helsinki, FinlandĀ  in Product and Strategic Design. He is an active participant in the design community and frequently speaks on the role of design in environmental and social issues; most recently at Lift Korea, UPA international conference, AIGA Design Conference, and Kyoorius DesignYatra. He currently lives and works from San Francisco.