Designers have social duties beyond a product's launch, says Apple's Jony Ive

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A designer's obligations to the world don't end after a product ships, said Apple chief design officer Jony Ive in an interview published this week.

Jony Ive


"There's a whole range of responsibilities. But they start with your motivation and your reason for doing things. Your values precede anything. Then I think there won't be issues, because ultimately the work we do stands testament to who we are and what we care about," Ive told the Document Journal.

"I think there's certain responsibilities that are easier to measure and easier to understand -- like, for example, the environmental responsibilities, and implications of our work. That's something that we've had a really tremendous motivation [toward], for many years, but I think we lacked the understanding and expertise," he continued. The designer cited the arrival of former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson as a turning point in Apple's green efforts.

"The much more complex responsibilities are in the realm of the social and the cultural because, by definition, if you're innovating and doing something new, there will be consequences you can't foresee. One of the most important things is where you say your responsibility is, chronologically. I don't think it ends when you ship a product. If you make something new, and there are unforeseen consequences, you have a responsibility to respond to those."

Apple has sometimes been criticized for enabling modern smartphone culture, in which people can be so glued to their screens that ignore other people or text while they drive. The company has tried to soften these concerns with features like Screen Time and Do Not Disturb While Driving, and products like the Apple Watch, but its business naturally depends on high iPhone demand.

Similarly the company's environmental efforts have been challenged as only lessening its impact on Earth. By definition the company has to use more and more natural resources to keep growing, though it may be able to slow that rate if it achieves a promised "closed" recycling loop.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    ivanhivanh Posts: 352member
    Regarding social responsibility, Apple should design an iOS Light version to extend the use of older devices. Make it 10 years rather than a planned death in 4 years, please.
    avon b7
  • Reply 2 of 35
    gutengelgutengel Posts: 270member
    ivanh said:
    Regarding social responsibility, Apple should design an iOS Light version to extend the use of older devices. Make it 10 years rather than a planned death in 4 years, please.
    You already get 4-5 years of use of an iPhone, a lot more compared to their Android counterpart. I think is a bit ridiculous and impractical to expect Apple to support a device for 10 years, after all they are a business and need profits.
    tmayracerhomie3StrangeDaysmichelb76watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 35
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,068member
    Is Jony getting this from that Philosopher they hired?
    gutengelmuthuk_vanalingamJWSCmichelb76
  • Reply 4 of 35
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,068member
    ivanh said:
    Regarding social responsibility, Apple should design an iOS Light version to extend the use of older devices. Make it 10 years rather than a planned death in 4 years, please.
    Only Apple?
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 35
    BxBornBxBorn Posts: 44member
    lkrupp said:
    ivanh said:
    Regarding social responsibility, Apple should design an iOS Light version to extend the use of older devices. Make it 10 years rather than a planned death in 4 years, please.
    Only Apple?
    Others should as well but if you're going to talk the talk... I agree with the idea of a light version - there are a fair amount of users that just need calling, texting, email and light browsing...if you create a light version you'll be limiting the amount of waste produced by devices needing to be disposed of simply because a company has decided not to support it anymore (within reason of course). the iPhone 6 is still a pretty capable device that should hit an unsupported list anytime soon.
  • Reply 6 of 35
    Maybe Jony Ive should have listened to Jony Ive when he designed the Mac Pro Trashcan... let's hope the modular 7,1 isn't an over designed POS.
  • Reply 7 of 35
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 293member
    I would have to agree, responsibilities do not end when you ship. You need to keep an ear out for keyboard failures, and go back to the drawing board and fix any mistakes in design, so it works. Also, design for repairability. When users spend $700 to get one key fixed, I don't see how that helps anyone, including the environment. Enough BS, Ive, just do it, less talking!

    irelandSpamSandwichmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 8 of 35
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,095member
    ivanh said:
    Regarding social responsibility, Apple should design an iOS Light version to extend the use of older devices. Make it 10 years rather than a planned death in 4 years, please.
    After 4 years your old iPhone doesn’t stop working.I know friends who still use an iPhone 2G .
    gutengelwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 35
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 738member
    ivanh said:
    Regarding social responsibility, Apple should design an iOS Light version to extend the use of older devices. Make it 10 years rather than a planned death in 4 years, please.
    Planned death? So Apple should be responsible for making and stocking parts for a 10 year life span as well?  If a lite version makes an older device usable for 10 years wouldn't that same user want a repair if the device is still viable and in daily use?  That seems a bit unreasonable in my opinion.. It's a phone after all not a vehicle..
    SpamSandwichStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 35
    irelandireland Posts: 17,584member
    Keyboard
  • Reply 11 of 35
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,776member
    lkrupp said:
    ivanh said:
    Regarding social responsibility, Apple should design an iOS Light version to extend the use of older devices. Make it 10 years rather than a planned death in 4 years, please.
    Only Apple?
    No, but the point is valid.

    This is Jony stating the obvious but sugarcoating it to the point of being sickly.

    Utterly worthless because his work has to sell.

    I have never had a laptop that didn't see the battery need replacing in its lifetime.

    It should be a simple change - from a design perspective and a user perspective but he is backing a machine that requires you to affect both the keyboard and the top case to do something simple (and probably necessary if you want to squeeze a great life out of the machine).

    Ah yes, the keyboard. Now there's a subject I'd like to hear him philosophise on.

    To paraphrase a different top man: 

    "Social Duties, my ass!" LOL
    edited April 24 muthuk_vanalingampratikindia
  • Reply 12 of 35
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,098member
    A lofty ideal and one a highly performing company can claim. Many more companies are more concerned with making quarterly targets or payroll and tend to be driven by their Sales department and not their Design department. High standards are a good goal, regardless.
  • Reply 13 of 35
    avon b7 said:

    I have never had a laptop that didn't see the battery need replacing in its lifetime.

    My MacBook Air 💻 (Mid 2012) still works perfectly!  The battery life is amazing.  So does the battery from both my MacBook Pro’s.  One is 4 years old, the other 2 years old.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 35
    avon b7 said:
    lkrupp said:
    ivanh said:
    Regarding social responsibility, Apple should design an iOS Light version to extend the use of older devices. Make it 10 years rather than a planned death in 4 years, please.
    Only Apple?
    No, but the point is valid.

    This is Jony stating the obvious but sugarcoating it to the point of being sickly.

    Utterly worthless because his work has to sell.

    I have never had a laptop that didn't see the battery need replacing in its lifetime.

    It should be a simple change - from a design perspective and a user perspective but he is backing a machine that requires you to affect both the keyboard and the top case to do something simple (and probably necessary if you want to squeeze a great life out of the machine).

    Ah yes, the keyboard. Now there's a subject I'd like to hear him philosophise on.

    To paraphrase a different top man: 

    "Social Duties, my ass!" LOL
    My MacBook Air (Mid 2012) still works perfectly!  The battery life is amazing.  So does the battery from my MacBook Pro - sorry posted twice and can’t figure out how to delete.
    edited April 24 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 35
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,776member
    Dave Kap said:
    avon b7 said:
    lkrupp said:
    ivanh said:
    Regarding social responsibility, Apple should design an iOS Light version to extend the use of older devices. Make it 10 years rather than a planned death in 4 years, please.
    Only Apple?
    No, but the point is valid.

    This is Jony stating the obvious but sugarcoating it to the point of being sickly.

    Utterly worthless because his work has to sell.

    I have never had a laptop that didn't see the battery need replacing in its lifetime.

    It should be a simple change - from a design perspective and a user perspective but he is backing a machine that requires you to affect both the keyboard and the top case to do something simple (and probably necessary if you want to squeeze a great life out of the machine).

    Ah yes, the keyboard. Now there's a subject I'd like to hear him philosophise on.

    To paraphrase a different top man: 

    "Social Duties, my ass!" LOL
    My MacBook Air (Mid 2012) still works perfectly!  The battery life is amazing.  So does the battery from my MacBook Pro - sorry posted twice and can’t figure out how to delete.
    My current Air (2012?) hasn't needed a replacement either (yet) but as I usually run them to the wire I fully expect to have problems within its useful lifespan. My current MBP battery (2011) swelled up a few years ago but I managed to save the trackpad before the battery did irreparable damage to it. While I was changing the battery I added more RAM and an SSD and now it flies.

    As for the double post, you can edit it down to 'double post' if you want. It is happening more than usual lately to many people.
    edited April 24
  • Reply 16 of 35
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,581member
    ivanh said:
    Regarding social responsibility, Apple should design an iOS Light version to extend the use of older devices. Make it 10 years rather than a planned death in 4 years, please.
    Are you effing serious? Running iOS on a ten-year-old device? No. Just recycle it, which they already offer.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 35
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,581member

    BxBorn said:
    lkrupp said:
    ivanh said:
    Regarding social responsibility, Apple should design an iOS Light version to extend the use of older devices. Make it 10 years rather than a planned death in 4 years, please.
    Only Apple?
    Others should as well but if you're going to talk the talk... I agree with the idea of a light version - there are a fair amount of users that just need calling, texting, email and light browsing...if you create a light version you'll be limiting the amount of waste produced by devices needing to be disposed of simply because a company has decided not to support it anymore (within reason of course). the iPhone 6 is still a pretty capable device that should hit an unsupported list anytime soon.
    No, you wouldn't be reducing anything -- to call, text, email, and surf the web, you need a smartphone with a big screen, capable rendering engines, processing to power it, etc etc..  You're back to a smartphone. Producing a normal one and also producing a less-powerful one (SoC) any more reduced than the older models Apple already sells would just be a big waste of resources and frustration.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 35
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,581member

    bsbeamer said:
    Maybe Jony Ive should have listened to Jony Ive when he designed the Mac Pro Trashcan... let's hope the modular 7,1 isn't an over designed POS.
    The design wasn't based on aesthetics, it was based on parallel processing in a configuration that didnt work. The "thermal corner" they discussed at great length. It was engineering. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 35
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,581member

    avon b7 said:
    lkrupp said:
    ivanh said:
    Regarding social responsibility, Apple should design an iOS Light version to extend the use of older devices. Make it 10 years rather than a planned death in 4 years, please.
    Only Apple?
    This is Jony stating the obvious but sugarcoating it to the point of being sickly.

    Utterly worthless because his work has to sell.
    Sort of like all of your astroturfing for Chinese knockoffs, huh?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 35

    bsbeamer said:
    Maybe Jony Ive should have listened to Jony Ive when he designed the Mac Pro Trashcan... let's hope the modular 7,1 isn't an over designed POS.
    The design wasn't based on aesthetics, it was based on parallel processing in a configuration that didnt work. The "thermal corner" they discussed at great length. It was engineering. 
    What advantage did the circular design have over traditional cases with respect to parallel processing? Interconnect length?
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