Yesterday, Jonathan Ive, the British designer responsible for the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad – in charge of Apple’s design since 1997 – was knighted. In an interview with The Telegraph he talks about the origins of his design principles, which have become tenants of Apple’s success.
For Ive, it’s the latest step in a journey that began with a love for design that was instilled in him at a young age by his craftsman father. “Ive talks about Apple’s attention to detail in its products – details that often won’t be seen by consumers at all – as a desire to ‘finish the back of the drawer’, writes Shane Richmond, who interviewed Ive for The Telegraph. It’s an idea he picked up watching his father work, and for the past 15 years he has combined that attention to detail with an emphasis on simplicity and focus to create some of the most successful and influential products in the world.
“We try to develop products that seem somehow inevitable. That leave you with the sense that that’s the only possible solution that makes sense,” Ive says. “Our products are tools and we don’t want design to get in the way. We’re trying to bring simplicity and clarity, we’re trying to order the products.”
But in addition to a focus on functionality, another aspect of Apple’s success revolves around its ability to encapsulate a sense of its values into its products. “We’re keenly aware that when we develop and make something and bring it to market that it really does speak to a set of values,” Ive says. “And what preoccupies us is that sense of care, and what our products will not speak to is a schedule, what our products will not speak to is trying to respond to some corporate or competitive agenda. We’re very genuinely designing the best products that we can for people.”
For more insight into what sets Apple’s design apart, read the full interview with Ive here.
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What makes truly great design? OpenView asked a panel of UX and product design experts to weigh in on the most important elements. You can read their responses here. And for a list of top design influencers to learn from, be inspired by, and follow on Twitter, read this post from the OpenView Blog.