Before 2013 Nexus devices were not designed by Google, instead they were leveraged from OEM like Samsung or LG. The result was weak brand recognition (difficulty for consumer to identify to the brand), no consistency year after year and overall bad design quality.
Under Mike Simonian leadership I was in charge to design the Nexus 5. It was the first flagship device designed internally at Google carrying the latest and greatest Android software. The iconic and elegant design setup Google as a strong competitor in the phone market. The Nexus 5 was the starting point of a more intentional design language across multiple products ( see Nexus Charger ) and became the most successful Nexus phone in the market so far.
Through Nexus 5 design, I defined the identity of the future Nexus product (Nexus 7, Nexus 9, Nexus 5x, Nexus Charger). The flat, angled sidewall and the curved back were the signature of the Nexus devices from 2013 to 2015.
I designed the phone to be less techy looking than the previous generations. The big challenge with this design was to target different customer than the Google fans. The design is more lifestyle oriented, more fashionable.
Previous Nexus phones were missing character, leading to a lack of visibility on the market. The bold camera detail, the large logo, the sharp profile, give the Nexus 5 an iconic and confident look and feel. This design set up Nexus brand as a strong competitor.
I improved ergonomics and reduced perceived thickness by sculpting the flat side band and the curved back. reduced X,Y dimension to make the screen to body ratio one of the best in the market.
I contributed to increase Google's environmental responsibility and reduced packaging price. I made the packaging using 100% recyclable material (paper structure, soy ink) and removed toxic materials (soft touch paint, plastic wrap)