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HTC One M8’s Design Process Explained by Creative Director Daniel Hundt

May 8, 2014 - Written By Brad Gesullo

The HTC One M8 is a beautiful device. With 70% of the device being metal, it has a real premium look to it. Have you ever wondered how the One M8’s design came about? Well the folks over at Stuff sat down with HTC Creative Director Daniel Hundt to get the details on how the design came about.  He even shared the preliminary sketches that were done for the HTC M8 while it was being thought of by the design team.  

Now there are many different ways for a company to come up with a design for a device that they are designing. “There are all sorts of approaches you can take when you design an object”, says Hundt. “You can start by thinking about human behavior, or the history of that kind of object, or you can start with the material, and try to let that guide the phone. ” However with the HTC One M8, they took a very simple approach to the device.  “Our approach at the beginning was to simply start with a chunk of metal and just ask ourselves what we could do with it.” Daniel Hundt said. 

Hundt is a fan of devices that are simple in design, and that look the way they’re supposed to look.  A lot of companies will worry about how to get a bigger battery in their device or how to get a bigger screen on to the device, but HTC’s design team just wanted to simplify the One M8. “I like objects that have a design that’s not forced, that make you think that’s just what a phone or a chair is supposed to look like. It’s a natural result of the material, without technology being forced in just for technology’s sake.”

The HTC One M8 has a lot of big features in the device, including great audio and network technology in it, with 10 antennas built into the device. Now making sure all of those big features work with the body of the device is a big task and has a lot of compromise involved. “You play a lot of chess between the antenna team and the acoustics team – there are 10 very, very sensitive antennae in the M8, and those need space, but great audio performance is one of our key selling features, and that only comes by using volume in the phone. So we’re constantly going back and forth to give each team space in the phone without changing the form factor.”

One of the compromises that HTC had to make was whether to make the HTC One M8 waterproofing the device, which is something they wanted to do, but couldn’t because it would have effected the size of the device. However, what they did do is put a microSD slot in because it was something that customers have been asking for. 

What should we expect on the next HTC One device? Well according to Hundt we should expect the device to have a 100% metal body. Which is something they have been working on since the HTC One M7. Also HTC is working on wearable devices as well! “We are working on wearables,” says Hundt, “and we have some amazing companies coming to partner with us”. Check out some of the preliminary sketches below.