At Apple's keynote presentation
at the WWDC yesterday, scorn for Scott Forstall – their recently-fired
VP of iOS software – ran rampant. His preference for skeuomorphic design (calendars that look like leather and so-on) was mocked repeatedly by Craig Federighi
: “Look! Even without all that stitching, everything just stays in place.” But the real shocker was the completely redesigned iOS 7
, created under the supervision of Jonathan Ive, who prior handled all of Apple's hardware design and none of its software. Previously Ive and Forstall were much at odds, reportedly refusing to even meet with each other
—and it should be noted that Ives' famous idol
, the legendary industrial designer Dieter Rams, famously rejected artificial wooden furnishings with his breakout design, the record player that was nicknamed "Snow White's Coffin"
for its transparent lid. Forstall's ousting placed Ive in charge of interface as well as industrial design
, and it was expected that the shift would lead to a change in iOS design philosophy. But the change was perhaps more radical than expected—a complete overhaul that looks simple to the point of cartoonishness
, with abstracted icons and stark layouts. Some critics are already complaining that iOS 7 goes too far in the other direction
; others note the deep rigor of its new rules-based design
. You can hear Ive talk about his design here [warning: obnoxious Apple promo video]
. And Apple threw its support behind Ive with an unexpectedly lovely short video about the design process [warning: possibly also obnoxious]
: "We start to confuse convenience for joy, abundance with choice. There are a thousand no's for every yes."
posted by Rory Marinich
on Jun 11, 2013 -
iPhone Caused “Crisis of Design” at Samsung (Memo) “Influential figures outside the company come across the iPhone, and they point out that ‘Samsung is dozing off.’ All this time we’ve been paying all our attention to Nokia, and concentrated our efforts on things like Folder, Bar, Slide,” Shin wrote. “Yet when our UX is compared to the unexpected competitor Apple’s iPhone, the difference is truly that of Heaven and Earth. It’s a crisis of design.” Complete text of the internal memo submitted in the Apple vs Samsung case
Those are the more ugly points of the memo, which seems to bolster Apple’s lawsuit stating that Samsung infringed upon a number of Apple’s patents. Apple asserts that Samsung has “slavishly copied” Apple’s iPad and iPhone devices, and is seeking $2.5 billion in damages. So any more ammunition that Apple can get to make it look like Samsung attempted to actively rip off Apple’s products is only a good thing for Apple’s case.
And the memo is rife with ammunition.
posted by infini
on Aug 7, 2012 -
Prototypes are usually the missing links in the evolution of human technology, the dead-ends of ideas that give way to the refinement of the final physical product. Prototypes aren't just for Darth Vader
. While the legal back and forth between Apple and Samsung continues, a treasure trove
of prototype designs
for Apple devices has been released to the public, showing insights into various design approaches and feature enhancements, including larger form-factor
and without kickstands
and landscape ports
and iPhones that parody the Sony logo
, show a different layout for camera elements
, and look remarkably like fourth-generation models
, as far back as 2005. On the other hand, some have made prototypes into the end goal itself, such as the folks at Dangerous Prototypes
, a site which features a new open-source electronic hardware project
each month. Some are just gratuitous fun
, while others are a bit more practical, such as one project that recycles old Nokia displays
and another that provides access to infrared signal
, useful for hacking together remote controls for all sorts of IR-based devices. Other prototypes of tomorrow's technology
are less concerned with shrinking down the guts of the invention itself, to make it disappear, but rather on how
with and integrate
physical representations of these ideas into our daily lives. Above all else, prototypes are always forward-looking and are therefore inherently optimistic expressions of human creativity: Even children
are getting into imagining the world of tomorrow.
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Aug 1, 2012 -
The idea that the form of a product should correspond to its essence does not simply mean that products should be designed with their intended use in mind. That a knife needs to be sharp so as to cut things is a non-controversial point accepted by most designers. The notion of essence as invoked by Jobs and Ive is more interesting and significant—more intellectually ambitious—because it is linked to the ideal of purity. No matter how trivial the object, there is nothing trivial about the pursuit of perfection. On closer analysis, the testimonies of both Jobs and Ive suggest that they did see essences existing independently of the designer—a position that is hard for a modern secular mind to accept, because it is, if not religious, then, as I say, startlingly Platonic.
— Form and Fortune
is an essay about Steve Jobs and Apple's design philosophy by Evgeny Morozov.
posted by Kattullus
on Mar 5, 2012 -
What touchscreens lack is something called affordance. It’s a lofty term for an object’s built-in ability to tell you how it works. A doorknob affords turning. The button on a car stereo affords pushing. A touchscreen affords nothing. It relies on software for any affordance, which in turn relies on total immersion for the user.... The days of analog affordance are gone. What we want, apparently, is to surround ourselves with touchscreens of varying size—tiny ones in our pockets, medium-size models for our laps and dashboards, and massive versions for our walls. We want tomorrow’s vintage shops to be lined with identical, blank, anonymous slabs. We want things to be vessels for software, and nothing more. - A Slate piece asks if touchscreens are becoming too ubiquitous
posted by beisny
on Nov 4, 2011 -
This is a short history and background of the Macintosh research project on the eve of its becoming a product.
posted by Joe Beese
on Feb 14, 2011 -
: iPhone and iPod Touch wallpapers from a selection of designers and illustrators from around the world
posted by defenestration
on Jul 6, 2008 -
"The difference between BJ and AJ, Before and After Jobs, is not the process," [Don Norman] continues. "It is the person. Never before did Apple have such focus and dedication. Apple used to wobble, moving this way and that. No more.
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on May 8, 2007 -
Clean and of things to come.
My stationery fetish reaches new heights. Cute pads 2cm by 5cm I must have. 1B pencils
and thickly nibbed felts in a black rubber coated organiser shaped like a pyramid. This dispenser will go to the left.
posted by holloway
on Apr 4, 2001 -
Grrrlz R the future of computerz!
A suprisingly warm-hearted and atypically unguyish analysis of the “ridiculous” new iMac colours and what they represent for future computer use. If Apple blew it by not letting teenage boys play games, are they smart to make iMacs attractive to sensitive, design-focused people (including grrrlz) as so-called digital hubs? Or will the boyz shoot ’em up on Wintel while the grrrlz rip boy-band MP3s on groovy iMacs? (My claim: Bondi blue remains the bestest iMac shade ever. Discuss.)
posted by joeclark
on Feb 27, 2001 -
Roger Black on Design.
MacAddict put up an interview with Roger Black from their August 2000 issue. There are a couple of interesting points as in his take on transitioning from print to web:
"I think that the main thing is pretty much to work as you would in print design. A good designer always focuses on the reader or the customer, the viewer, whatever the end-user is. You just have to do that on the Net the same way you do in print.... I do not believe that the technological hurdles are that big. It doesn't seem to me that big of a deal.... Most of the stuff we do on the Web is not particularly difficult. Almost anybody, particularly anybody under thirty growing up in our society has enough technological culture to work with it. Don't get scared. It’s not that big of a deal."
posted by leo
on Jul 20, 2000 -