Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Thinking About Design

I was struck by the following excerpt from Walter Isaacson's biography about Steve Jobs.  The remarks are from Jonathan Ive, Chief Designer at Apple and close confidant to Jobs.  In discussing the design of the iMac launched in May 1998, Ive shared the following about why a handle was nestled into the iMac:

Back then, people weren't comfortable with technology.  If you're scared of something, then you won't touch it.  I could see my mum being scared to touch it.  So I thought, if there's this handle on it, it makes a relationship possible.  It's approachable.  It's intuitive.  it gives you permission to touch.  It gives a sense of its deference to you.

Again, I was struck by Ive's commentary about the design process. In designing the iMac significant consideration was paid to the personal relationship between the device and its user.  This excerpt highlights complexities inherent to the design process and serves as a valuable prompt to stimulate discussions with students about creative design initiatives.

Wondering what you think about this excerpt...