Apple's Jony Ive: 'If we can't make something that is better, we won't do it'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014


Famed Apple designer Jonathan Ive was recently interviewed by a publication from his home country of the U.K., in which he spoke about his design process and Apple's philosophy in creating new products.



Speaking from Apple's corporate headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Ive was interviewed by the London Evening Standard for a question-and-answer session published on Monday. In the interview, Ive said Apple employees are driven by a desire to make something that is better.



"Our goals are very simple — to design and make better products," he said. "If we can't do something that is better, we won't do it."



Ive said his career as a designer was even influenced by Apple well before he joined the company. When asked for the first time he became aware of the importance of designers, Ive said it was the first time he used a Mac.



"I'd gone through college in the eighties using a computer and had a horrid experience. Then I discovered the Mac," he said. "It was such a dramatic moment and I remember it so clearly. There was a real sense of the people who made it."



Ive also discussed the design process at Apple, explaining that the "most dramatic shift" comes when he transitions from an "abstract idea to a slightly more material conversation." Building a crude 3D model creates a "nebulous idea," he said, at which point "everything changes."





Apple design chief Jonathan Ive somewhere in Apple's design studio | Source: Objectified







Late last year, Ive was awarded knighthood after being named a Knight Commander of the British Empire for his services to design. Though he now lives in California with his wife and twin sons, he grew up in Chingford, a town northeast of London.



One of the new products Ive is rumored to be hard at work on is an Apple-branded television set. One report from early this year claimed that the designer has a 50-inch prototype secretly held in his California design studio.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,493member
    Quote:

    …he said. "If we can't do something that is better, we won't do it."



    *coughtelevisioncough*
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    *coughtelevisioncough*



    But Apple hasn't made a television.....ooooooooh!
  • flairflair Posts: 4member
    I don't think this article interpreted him correctly. "Building a crude 3D model creates a "nebulous idea," he said, at which point "everything changes."



    According to Mac Rumors what he actually said was "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."
  • woodlinkwoodlink Posts: 198member
    In other news, Samsung just builds anything that they can injection mold.
  • malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by flair View Post


    I don't think this article interpreted him correctly. "Building a crude 3D model creates a "nebulous idea," he said, at which point "everything changes."



    According to Mac Rumors what he actually said was "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."



    Thanks for the clarification/correction. The original quote sounded a bit daft. Who gets excited about "nebulous ideas?"
  • ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by malax View Post


    Thanks for the clarification/correction. The original quote sounded a bit daft. Who gets excited about "nebulous ideas?"



    Creative people who like to shape nebulous ideas into new things?
  • grangerfxgrangerfx Posts: 280member
    "If we can't do something that is better, we won't do it."



    So I guess they didn't release a new iPod Touch because they could not make it better. Too bad because I could have given them some ideas: 3G data, a GPS and a digital compass would have made a much better product. Instead they made it white. How did that make it better?
  • agramonteagramonte Posts: 345member
    hmm, well with iOS they should try to get it at least to "good"



    but hey they making money... I see it like a nice restaurant you always went to that one day puts hotdogs on the MENU - you just ignore the stupid people who order it.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    "Our goals are very simple — to design and make better products," he said. "If we can't do something that is better, we won't do it."







    "I'd gone through college in the eighties using a computer and had a horrid experience. Then I discovered the Mac," he said. "It was such a dramatic moment and I remember it so clearly. There was a real sense of the people who made it."








    So Jony's role is expanding. Used to be just design, but now he's also into Corporate PR. Steve is gone, Tim is ugly, so Jon is the new "Face" of Apple.



    "There is a real sense of the people who make it - LIKE ME!!!!!!!!!!"



    Smart move Apple.
  • pokepoke Posts: 506member
    Quote:

    Some of the problem solving in the iPad is really quite remarkable, there is this danger you want to communicate this to people. I think that is a fantastic irony, how oblivious people are to the acrobatics we?ve performed to solve a problem - but that?s our job, and I think people know there is tremendous care behind the finished product.



    I'm quoting this part so the "iPad is obvious" trolls can read it.
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,574member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    Steve is gone, Tim is ugly, so Jon is the new "Face" of Apple.



    I assume you must think you're very good-looking.
  • slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,391member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post


    "If we can't do something that is better, we won't do it."



    So I guess they didn't release a new iPod Touch because they could not make it better. Too bad because I could have given them some ideas: 3G data, a GPS and a digital compass would have made a much better product. Instead they made it white. How did that make it better?



    Amazing how the entire point of what he said managed to go completely over your head.
  • jungmarkjungmark Posts: 5,798member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by agramonte View Post


    hmm, well with iOS they should try to get it at least to "good"



    but hey they making money... I see it like a nice restaurant you always went to that one day puts hotdogs on the MENU - you just ignore the stupid people who order it.



    iOS is the best mobile OS out there.
  • mightymikemightymike Posts: 49member
    Samsung is desperate. Without copying Apple's products they loose the fight for the high end market and eventually their whole big screen TV business. Samsung has no choice, they simply can't compete with Apple's innovation. Like the boxer who bit off the opponents ear when he realized he was loosing the fight. It's a desperate stab at survival on Samsung's part.
  • m2002brianm2002brian Posts: 258member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mightymike View Post


    Like the boxer who bit off the opponents ear when he realized he was loosing the fight.



    OT



    I like how your name is MightyMike yet you don't seem to know the name of the boxer who bite off said ear :P
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    I assume you must think you're very good-looking.



    Your assumption is incorrect, insulting and baseless.
  • ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post


    "If we can't do something that is better, we won't do it."



    So I guess they didn't release a new iPod Touch because they could not make it better. Too bad because I could have given them some ideas: 3G data, a GPS and a digital compass would have made a much better product. Instead they made it white. How did that make it better?



    So you want Apple to produce another device where you can add another monthly fee? The iPod Touch is much more capable than a simple music player, but in the end it's supposed to be a step short of the iPhone. If you add that stuff, you're practically at an iPhone and have no product separation. Adding 3G and GPS would also likely push the price higher and it's already as expensive as buying an iPhone.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    Your assumption is incorrect, insulting and baseless.



    You would prefer we assume you're fugly?
  • flaneurflaneur Posts: 3,695member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    I assume you must think you're very good-looking.



    I picture him as being very repugnant, sort of like L. Ron Hubbard, based on his comments. I wish he'd be banned.



    I think Tim Cook is pleasant and interesting as hell to watch, by the way. A mind of steel.



    Edit: Oh yeah, the topic. The Evening Standard interview is a good read in the sense that Sir Jony insists on how much work they put into detail.. "Months and months" sometimes on one detail. I still marvel at the tolerances and the jewel-like fittings arond the edge of the iPhone. Never has such precision been put into an electronic mass market product for consumers.
  • relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mightymike View Post


    Samsung is desperate. Without copying Apple's products they loose the fight for the high end market and eventually their whole big screen TV business. Samsung has no choice, they simply can't compete with Apple's innovation. Like the boxer who bit off the opponents ear when he realized he was loosing the fight. It's a desperate stab at survival on Samsung's part.



    The only thing on a Samsung tablet that is anything like Apple is the front Bezel. That is it and the new models change that. They copy a lot less then a lot of other company's are doing besides I don't think they have anything to worry being the second largest phone manufacture in the world.



    I am by no means a Samsung fanboy but geesh it's not like their copying every detail. The OS is completely different and yes it is, the only thing that is even close between the two now is iOS's notification system.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post




    You would prefer we assume you're fugly?



    I would prefer that no baseless assumptions be made about me.
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