Fantastic interview with Apple’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Design.
He is widely considered to be the driving force behind all of Apple’s major products from the iPod to the iPhone to the iPad.
Some of the quotes:
Q: What makes design different at Apple?
A: We struggle with the right words to describe the design process at Apple, but it is very much about designing and prototyping and making. When you separate those, I think the final result suffers. If something is going to be better, it is new, and if it’s new you are confronting problems and challenges you don’t have references for. To solve and address those requires a remarkable focus. There’s a sense of being inquisitive and optimistic, and you don’t see those in combination very often.
Q: What are your goals when setting out to build a new product?
A: Our goals are very simple – to design and make better products. If we can’t make something that is better, we won’t do it.
Q: Why has Apple’s competition struggled to do that?
A: That’s quite unusual, most of our competitors are interesting in doing something different, or want to appear new – I think those are completely the wrong goals. A product has to be genuinely better. This requires real discipline, and that’s what drives us – a sincere, genuine appetite to do something that is better. Committees just don’t work, and it’s not about price, schedule or a bizarre marketing goal to appear different – they are corporate goals with scant regard for people who use the product.
Great must read.