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Old Mar 12, 2012, 09:56 AM   #1
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Jony Ive Discusses Apple's Creative Design Processes






In a rare interview, Apple design chief Jony Ive participated in a Q&A exchange with the London Evening Standard, offering his perspective on a number of topics including how the design process works at Apple.
Quote:
Q: How does a new product come about at Apple?

A: What I love about the creative process, and this may sound naive, is this idea that one day there is no idea, and no solution, but then the next day there is an idea. Where you see the most dramatic shift is when you transition from an abstract idea to a slightly more material conversation. But when you make a 3D model, however crude, you bring form to a nebulous idea and everything changes -- the entire process shifts. It galvanises and brings focus from a broad group of people. It's a remarkable process.
Ive talks more about how deeply prototyping is ingrained in the design process at Apple, and also discusses how Apple's approach of creating entirely new categories of products rather than simply improving on existing ones "exercises the skills" of Ive and his team.
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It's not a problem you're aware of, nobody has articulated a need. But you start asking questions: what if we do this, combine it with that, would that be useful? This creates opportunities that could replace entire categories of device rather than tactically responding to an individual problem. That's the real challenge and very exciting.
By trying to create new classes of products that people don't even realize they need until they are unveiled, the process results in incredible freedom and excitement, but significant challenges for the designers.

Article Link: Jony Ive Discusses Apple's Creative Design Processes
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 09:58 AM   #2
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:00 AM   #3
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Arise

That's Sir Jony Ive, to you!
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:04 AM   #4
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I think many would prefer Sir Jony Ive to present Apple's keynotes over Tim Cook, all due respect to Mr. Cook.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:10 AM   #5
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I'd love to see a detailed publication of how the iPad when from an idea to final launch. It's touched upon in Steve Jobs' biography, but I'd love more depth. As far as I can remember, it says that they were designing a netbook, but the keyboards were proving expensive, so Steve wanted to shift the display onto the screen, and make a touch screen keyboard.

How interesting would the rest be? The decision that iOS was capable enough and would work, not Mac OS X; The design decisions that made some consumers look at it and say "Its a big iPod touch"; A4 chips instead of Intel chips, etc.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:10 AM   #6
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...realize they need unit they are unveiled....
s/unit/until/g
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:12 AM   #7
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Change the Constitution, Ive for President.

Because I need more people looking into my private life?
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:16 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by FFArchitect View Post
I think many would prefer Sir Jony Ive to present Apple's keynotes over Tim Cook, all due respect to Mr. Cook.
Agreed, although I think Sir Jony Ive prefers to stay in his studio/lab making the magic happen.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:23 AM   #9
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I think many would prefer Sir Jony Ive to present Apple's keynotes over Tim Cook, all due respect to Mr. Cook.
Sadly, I don't think Ive wants the job. He can captivate an audience like Jobs did. This is not just because of his design sense but rather he is just that interesting.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:26 AM   #10
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Ive is currently designing the replacement of the iCannotthinkofbecauseiamtoonarrowsighted
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:29 AM   #11
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...and also discusses how Apple's approach of creating entirely new categories of products rather than simply improving on existing ones...
I love Apple as much as the next guy but, what product would that be? As far as I can see, all they have done is improve existing categories. Computer, MP3 player, phone, tablet, etc. I am not trying to pick a fight or be argumentative, either I'm being totally dense here (which could be) or Ives is in dreamland?
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:30 AM   #12
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People don't need any of these devices. But, they are really useful. Surprisingly useful, really.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:30 AM   #13
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That's nothing special, Jony. What he describes in this painfully mundane description of brainstorming takes place in hundreds of companies every day. The difference at Apple is that they have the money and the freedom to actually explore all of their innovations and define new classes of products in the process.

I guarantee you, if you took folks like Jony and his team and plopped them in Samsung or HP, they wouldn't be able to get anything approved. He would be completely suffocated and stifled by timid bureaucrats.

Jony's good -but he's not the only industrial design genius (or necessarily the best) out there. He's just fortunate to work for a company with a gigantic creativity war chest.

Here's hoping Tim doesn't hose that up
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:31 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by nikhsub1 View Post
I love Apple as much as the next guy but, what product would that be? As far as I can see, all they have done is improve existing categories. Computer, MP3 player, phone, tablet, etc. I am not trying to pick a fight or be argumentative, either I'm being totally dense here (which could be) or Ives is in dreamland?
agreed!

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where can we read the specs of your beast?
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:31 AM   #15
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Role at Apple

Sir Jony's role at Apple might have more to do with how Steve Jobs created the corporate structure and culture. He built in some amazing powers for the creative staff, yet might have equally restricted other potential outlets.

Like, restricting VPs from sitting on other company's boards. Even though someone has achieved to the level of VP, they shouldn't be acting like mini-CEOs.

In Jony Ive's case, the powers that are built in so that no one from other branches of the company can kill or drive his creative designs, and that, even the CEO cannot tell him what to do, or how to do it. That is incredible, to protect and value the creative process. However, I bet it also tries to restrict the public relations, sales, and marketing attention he might otherwise receive. It might downright restrict any non-Apple media within the US....hence the brief London interview?

Just a thought.

I'm also in agreement that he most likely doesn't want to be in the public eye, either.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:31 AM   #16
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I'd much rather listen to a keynote from Forstal and Ive than the two guys we had last week. Let the CEO talk market numbers and such, then hand the stage over.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:32 AM   #17
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Im no blind follower...but

Apple != NSA
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:33 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
Apple's approach of creating entirely new categories of products rather than simply improving on existing ones
Like what? Apple's reputation is for the opposite of this; they improve upon existing products (the personal computer, the mp3 player, cell phones, tablet computers). Though I'd say they improve upon them greatly, not "slightly".

edit: others beat me. So add me to the list.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:33 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by FFArchitect View Post
I think many would prefer Sir Jony Ive to present Apple's keynotes over Tim Cook, all due respect to Mr. Cook.
I think he looks great on the behind the scenes videos but they cost $$$ and weeks to make and edit. Not sure if Jony is ready for prime time or wants to be in that kind of spotlight. Keeping the myth alive Sir Ive.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:34 AM   #20
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Agreed, although I think Sir Jony Ive prefers to stay in his studio/lab making the magic happen.
Yeah. Maybe not Jony, but Tim seriously needs to loosen up and work on his public speaking skills. That was the most wooden Keynote address I've seen in years. Felt very Samsung-ish.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:35 AM   #21
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Many of his answers are pretty vague. The question about how Apple designs a new product is a great example. His answer is very, very abstract. Going from an idea, to a crude 3D prototype, going to real stuff. Well, what a novel information. I would have wished on a little bit more details, but I guess that's Apple's secrets!
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:35 AM   #22
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why do we look to deify people? He's a charismatic designer who hit it off with another charismatic visionary at the right time and at the right place and were able to make huge strides in consumer electronics. Lets celebrate that rather than look for Steve Jobs in every charismatic Apple employee. The company has become so big, it can no longer be run as a single man's domain.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:36 AM   #23
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he is just that interesting.
Intense rather than interesting. Unfortunately, what with the Evening Standard being print, the breathless hushed tones of Jony's delivery are lost.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:36 AM   #24
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How are Ive's comments any different from any other company in the world?! Sheeeez...you think of something, you ask if it may be useful/solve a problem, come up with a prototype. Wow! Great insight, Jony!
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 10:43 AM   #25
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agreed!

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where can we read the specs of your beast?
Sadly it has been sitting in the corner of my living room for about 2 years now It is quite outdated (the computing components) at this point.
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