Jony Ive: “We Didn’t Start With Engineering Dictates, We actually Started With People”
Here we have more interesting tidbits from Leander Kahney book – Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products. Leander Kahney discussed Steve Jobs return to Apple and Jony Ives subsequent rise in power at the company. Kahney talked about Jony Ive‘s design philosophy and what drives him to create great products.
According to Kahney, Ive’s believes that his team should design products starting with people.
“We didn’t start with engineering dictates,” Jony said. “We actually started with people.”
“The iMac revolved not around chip speed or market share but squishy questions like ‘How do we want people to feel about it?’ and ‘What part of our minds should it occupy?’” Jony said later in a Newsweek interview.
“As industrial designers we no longer design objects,” Jony said. “We design the user’s perceptions of what those objects are, as well as the meaning that accrues from their physical existence, their function and the sense of possibility they offer.”
“They discussed topics like “objects that dispense positive emotions”; one of the designers suggested a transparent gumball dispenser as an example of this,” Leander Kahney writes.
“The Industrial Design team also discussed how other businesses, like the fashion industry, might approach the problem,” Kahney explains.
“We talked about companies like Swatch—companies that broke the rules—that viewed technology as a way to the consumer, not the consumer as the path to the technology,” Jony said.
Later, Jony explained his thinking this way. The computer industry “is an industry that has become incredibly conservative from a design perspective,” he said. “It is an industry where there is an obsession about product attributes that you can measure empirically. How fast is it? How big is the hard drive? How fast is the CD? That is a very comfortable space to compete in because you can say eight is better than six.”
But Jony offered a key insight: “It’s also very inhuman and very cold. Because of the industry’s obsession with absolutes, there has been a tendency to ignore product attributes that are difficult to measure or talk about. In that sense, the industry has missed out on the more emotive, less tangible product attributes. But to me, that is why I bought an Apple computer in the first place. That is why I came to work for Apple. It’s because I’ve always sensed that Apple had a desire to do more than the bare minimum. It wasn’t just going to do what was functionally and empirically necessary. In the early stuff, I got a sense that care was taken even on details, hard and soft, that people may never discover.”