Behind the iPhone

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After years of anticipation and frantic speculation by Mac addicts with far too much time on their hands, Apple released the iPhone to audiences at Macworld and around the world in January 2007. Living up to the fanatical attention it received in the months leading up to its unveiling, Apple has proven that when it comes to innovation and design, they are defining the curve for everyone else.

iPhone mockup comparison

The iPhone is a modern marvel of engineering and technology and will define the all-in-one handheld device for years to come as everyone else struggles to catch up. The newest i-device from Apple does everything you could want in a computer, let alone a handheld device.

Behind the world-class design of Apple’s line-up of culture shifting products, is an individual who has perhaps had one of the biggest influences on our wired culture. Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple, Jonathan Ive is responsible for the design of the iMac, iPod, and the iPhone in addition to many of the company’s other hardware products. Ive spends as little time as possible in the spotlight and resides in a two-bedroom house in Cupertino, California with his wife and two children.

Before joining Apple in 1992, Ive got his start by co-founding a London studio called Tangerine, where combs, power tools, and bathroom products were his specialty. Since then, he’s been the brain trust behind Apple’s resurgence into a technological powerhouse. To many people, Ive’s arrival at Apple is the reason the company is where it is today.

The innovation surrounding the design of Apple’s product line has been the saviour of the company’s fortunes. The creativity of its employees and Apple’s commitment to the production of great design above-all continues to be a leading ideal in today’s marketplace. While the iPhone finds itself in the media spotlight, the vision of Jonathan Ive and Apple’s commitment to innovative design should perhaps be what the business community may do well to think differently about.

Questions for better design

Judging from their innovative products, we figure that Apple’s development process must involve a lot re-thinking existing conventions. Any time you find yourself developing a new idea, creating a new design, developing a new product or even reorganizing your store, take some cues from Apple and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What components of my current design are unnecessarily complicated?
  • How can I create a simpler, more enjoyable experience for my customers?
  • What are the most frustrating aspects of similar products in my industry?
  • Who can I ask to help me execute this idea as best as possible?