When we think and talk about Apple and their products, we generally focus on two key aspects, form and function, both of which make devices like the iPhone, iPod and iPad stand out in the marketplace above all competition. The iPod portable music player revolutionized the way we think about and listen to music. The iPhone was one of the first smartphones to fuse together advanced features with an almost flawless design and the iPad brought about what Apple is calling the "Post-PC" era, and looks set to go from strength to strength.
Apple is obviously a huge corporation, spanning across several countries with thousands of employees and no one person is responsible for any product. However, when Apple is discussed, the focus generally falls onto only a handful of people, namely Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, Phil Schiller and in certain circumstances, Sir Jonathan Ive. Ive’s probably doesn’t get as much credit and media attention which he deserves, although he would more than likely prefer it to stay that way. The designs which have been produced by his team are there for all to see with the iPhone, iPod and iPad racking up phenomenal sales worldwide, becoming some of the most popular consumer technology products ever made.
In an extremely rare interview, Sir Jonathan Ives spoke to the London Evening Standard newspaper from Apple’s HQ to give a small insight into his work, Apple’s design processes and where he draws his inspiration from. One of the key questions which I believe most people would like to ask Ives is "What makes design different at Apple?". The company is often praised for the beautiful design of their products, with Ives giving a response, offering some insight into why this might be:
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.
One of the latter questions asked by the Evening Standard brought about a very interesting response from the Chingford born designer. The reporter asked "Users have become obsessively attached to Apple products. Why?". Every time a new product is launched, we see queues of people waiting to purchase it, the online systems often crash as people all over the world attempt to pre-order the latest iPhone or iPad, so just why does Ives think this is the case?
When I used a Mac I had a keen awareness of the values of those who made it. I think people’s emotional connection to our product is that they sense our care, and the amount of work that has gone into creating it.
I can resonate with his answer. As bizarre as it may sound, I feel an attachment to my Apple devices. Not because of the name or the brand, not because of the recent boom of the company and the hype, but because of how they function and feel and how they just ‘work‘.
You can check out the complete interview by heading over to this link.