Apple’s Jonathan Ive has been released from his box to talk about the design process at Apple, and how their focus now is the same as it was when the late Steve Jobs was at the helm.
Jony Ives is very rarely seen giving interviews. In fact, he is very rarely seen period. The head of design is private and stays out of the limelight, despite his very important position at the company.
When he does show up for a discussion it tends to get a lot of attention as a consequence. Luckily, what he has to say is always interesting and informative. This latest talk was no exception.
Back when Timothy Cook took over Apple in the wake of Steve Jobs battle with terminal cancer, many wondered what it would mean for Apple. With such a meteoric rise, was the company now doomed to change direction and potentially fall?
Since then the ridiculously popular iPhone 5S, and the less popular but still interesting iPhone 5c, have made their mark. It would seem that Apple is continuing to dominate, and Ive pointed towards the continued design and product philosophy of the company.
According to him, they still maintain small creative teams that work closely together. They still focus on high quality and innovation, sticking with the high end product model they always have in spite of the recent iPhone releases that were technically discount devices.
He also points out that the ‘making’ part is just as important as design. They don’t just stop at coming up with ideas for features, design, hardware and software. They put as much effort as possible into making the devices to fit directly into those plans. There is nothing theoretical once they have moved into the prototype stage.
Which explains why they are releasing new products on such a consistent basis, each with new upgrades and advances (think the fingerprint ID pad on new iPhones, and push notification improvements in the iOS 8 update).
From what he says, Tim Cook is very similar in his approach to how Jobs was. He is just as invested in the creative aspect of the design. He still maintains the quality mantra Apple has been dedicated to for years. He even says they meet an average as a team three times a week.
Maybe it isn’t fair to compare Apple to pre and post Steve Jobs, however. While he may not have been at the helm, Cook has been with Apple for decades. He was probably as much a part of putting that initial philosophy in place as his predecessor.
Source: NY Times