三星举证:用户界面灵感来自OLED显示器团队

上网时间: 2012年08月24日? 作者:Rick Merritt? 我来评论 【字号: ? ?小】

关键字:三星? OLED?

Samsung designer details rivalry with Apple

Rick Merritt

SAN JOSE, Calif. – At the peak of work on Samsung’s first Galaxy smartphones, the team of about 300 designers spent three months together in Seoul sleeping as little as two hours a night. A senior user interface designer said she felt so stressed her body would no longer produce the breast milk she was pumping to send to her newborn at home.

“Those were difficult times,” said Jeeyeun Wang, who helped design icons and screen displays for the handsets, speaking through a translator with what sounded at one moment like a catch in her throat.

“Samsung is a very hard company to work at--it’s a very hard-working company,” said Wang, an attractive middle-aged Korean woman with a stoic demeanor, dressed in a salmon denim blazer and simple black dress.

Asked if she copied any icons or layouts of Apple iPhone screens, “Not at all,” she replied through the translator in testimony for the defense in a $2.5 billion patent infringement suit Apple filed against the Korean giant.

The moment provided a rare look into the human side of one of the world’s largest electronics companies, and one no doubt carefully calculated to appeal to the sympathies of the nine-person jury here.

Wang’s story echoed tales of Apple’s own industrial designers who talked about long, sometimes contentious debates gathered around a kitchen table where they routinely meet. It also harkened back to even earlier stories—not told at the trial—of an Apple designer so stressed during the design of its failed Newton handheld he committed suicide, a fact only discovered when a New York Times reporter followed the lead of a dedication at the bottom of the code in the device’s software.

For a moment, the high profile trial here, turned its attention to a subject not at issue in the case—the work/life balance of engineers and designers in the pressure cooker of the electronics industry. But the focus quickly snapped back to the details of patent infringement.

Samsung attorney John Quinn asked Wang about the distinctive icon of a white telephone receiver against a green background used both in Galaxy phones and the iPhone.

“We called it a ‘dumbell’ icon,” she said.

“The icon was in use before I joined the company in 2002. The green has a positive connotation, meaning go, do or make the call. A red color would mean don’t or stop,” she added.

Studying Apple's icons

Wang said as part of her work she studied icons from many sources including the Web, airport signs and elsewhere. Under cross examination, an Apple attorney showed documents with her name on them in their metadata that included comparisons of Samsung and Apple icons as well as an Apple Human Interface Guide provided to third party developers for the iPhone.

Design versus software verification

Under re-direct Quinn noted one of the documents that made direct comparisons between Samsung and Apple icons dated from 2011. It was prepared after the Apple suit was filed as part of preparations for the case, he suggested.

Wang said an icon for a photo gallery was inspired by a close-up picture another Samsung team used to showcase its new OLED displays. The flower icon appears very similar to one on the iPhone also used to indicate a flower gallery.

An Apple attorney showed Wang an 132-page document admitted into evidence earlier that compares in great detail the iPhone and Samsung’ first Galaxy phone, suggesting the Galaxy phone adopt iPhone techniques. Wang said she had not seen the document until she started preparing to testify.

The software verification team that created the document is a separate group based in Gumi, South Korea from her user interface team based mainly in Seoul, she said.

“They would often tell us or indicate to us if there is a usability issue or not,” Wang said. “This group can’t make design decisions for us,” she added.

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