Apple's best designs by Jony Ive, according to the AppleInsider staff

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  • Reply 21 of 47
    Soli said:
    sumergo said:
    Hardware, Hardware, Hardware - all engineering physical form, no concept of usability/UX function.

    Sir Jony Ive is a brilliant industrial designer but he has never had a clue about what it takes to make his "wonderful" objects usable for humans.

    Don't listen to me - check out another authority: https://www.fastcompany.com/3053406/how-apple-is-giving-design-a-bad-name

    How I about I don't listen to either of you?
    How about actually reading the article and then enlighten all of us with a solid point-by-point rebuttal?
    napoleon_phoneapartcgWerks
  • Reply 22 of 47
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,262member
    Soli said:
    T.bias said:
    I believe that, for its time, the iPhone X is not the most amazing iPhone ever created. As long as that notch exists, I will always consider the design to be subpar. I think that the person who put it forward fell for a classic pitfall associated with things of this nature: it is new and more up to date with current views and perceptions. This essentially side steps the work of examining all of Ive’s designs “in their own time”.
     
    With that in mind, why was there no mention of the iPhone 4/4S? IMHO, this design of Ive’s was far and away the best iPhone for its time. It was sold longer than any other iPhone, and for good reason; it is beautiful, sleek, and truly stands out from all other designs of the iPhone.
    And yet, when the iPhone 4 leaks came out forum-goers decried it ugly and unfinished looking — those ghastly visible screws! 

    The notch is fine. It is no more an obstruction in real use than a rear view mirror is on a windshield. Not a big deal except to idealists. The physical constraints of reality are still with us for now. 
    1) It’s odd that so many can’t see the benefit of having more display without having to compromise the forward-facing components. It’s a superior engineering feat that offers additional functionality, but they can’t see that.

    2) I remember the Gizmodo leaks. I am one of those people whose first reaction was that it was ugly. It wasn’t until we saw quality, non-blurry photos that I could see the brilliance of the design.
    I’m not so sure it was the photos. Remember they took the photos, they weren’t factory leaks. I’d suggest we as a mass market have adjusted. From traditional plastic product design to....industrial design. It was new to many consumers. Ive made that happen, made us adjust...and the whole industry followed. Something for the armchair experts coming out of the woodwork to remember. The design won. 
    edited June 29 watto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 47
    mobirdmobird Posts: 220member

    Anyone remember these?

    wozwozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 47
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,149member
    My favorite Jony Ive designs. iMac G3, the 1st gen iPod Touch, the OG unibody Late 2008 MacBook. 
  • Reply 25 of 47
    wozwozwozwoz Posts: 237member
    iPhone 5s/SE.

    Well said  -  and vastly better cleaner design than the generic and bland iPhone X
  • Reply 26 of 47
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,504member
    I never opened on in person, so I was surprised to see this listed — the Power Mac 9600.

    And now I see why...




    retrogusto
  • Reply 27 of 47
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,060member
    PowerBook G3 (Pismo) for me (among many others) and the 'door' side panel opening was a godsend. Although, I don't know if the Pismo was an Ive design.

    Awe inspiring. Just looking at the advertisements for them transmitted the sensation of them being beasts in every way.

    Those curves!

    After that, so many great little details that gave things a special twist. Micro perforation on the battery indicator, pulsating status lights, backlit keyboards, lever extractable hard drives...
    edited June 30
  • Reply 28 of 47
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,799member
    I vote for the iMac G4. A truly wonderful looking machine.

    I would also give a thumbs up for the iMac G5. A very easy to Mac to service by its owner. Looked better inside than most PCs on the outside, even had diagnostic lights to help you out. The basic shape is still with us in current iMacs too.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 29 of 47
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,262member
    wozwoz said:
    iPhone 5s/SE.

    Well said  -  and vastly better cleaner design than the generic and bland iPhone X
    Define “cleaner” please. As the devices approach all-screen they become slabs of glass, so I’m curious what you mean. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 30 of 47
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,757administrator
    This is the last time I'm going to say this in the thread. Dial it back a bit.

    If you want to debate an opinion, fine. Do not attack the opinion-holder to do so. 
    macseekerbigpicskevin keewatto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 47
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,888member
    wozwoz said:
    iPhone 5s/SE.

    Well said  -  and vastly better cleaner design than the generic and bland iPhone X
    Define “cleaner” please. As the devices approach all-screen they become slabs of glass, so I’m curious what you mean. 
    I care to stay away from re-initiating an old discussion but sometimes you cannot release the best design for several reasons: market pressure, investors’ stance, partners’ inabilities... Given the camera protrusion, plastic bands, some notch, the 5s/SE stands like a carefully cut piece of gemstone compared to those slabs of glass. Anyway, this is just a subjective feeling, people write to this thread the items they liked much...
    edited June 30 watto_cobra
  • Reply 32 of 47
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,469member
    I never opened on in person, so I was surprised to see this listed — the Power Mac 9600.

    And now I see why...




    I loved my G4 tower for pretty much the same reasons.  Great access (IIRC, the door swung down but you didn't have to take it off), plug and play drives, etc.    My late-2008 MBP was a great machine and the user could very easily replace battery, memory and storage.   The hard drive was on these great little shock mounts and was really easy to replace.  I replaced mine several times as I upgraded to larger and faster storage.   Take the old drive out - put it in a case and then copy everything back to the new drive.    Fantastic!!!

    But what's happened since?   Ive placing form over function for almost everything else.   A ridiculous obsession with thinness over function and practicality.   iPhones with batteries that were too small and that the user couldn't replace on their own.   A beautiful design, but a phone fragile enough to require a case and when in the case, you don't see the design anyway.    MBP's where everything is hard wired , the user can no longer replace/upgrade battery, memory or storage and this from a company that claims to have ideal environmental considerations.    (The only reason the SSD storage isn't standard and isn't plug and play is because Apple wants to be able to charge absurd prices for SSD storage and so one is forced to upgrade to a new computer.)    Massive keyboard failures.    Some failures on internal wiring.  

    I think Ive leaving Apple might actually be a good thing and I hope they use his new design firm less, not more.  I think it's time for new blood and new thinking.    Now there is a chance that design might get worse, but hopefully the people who take over for Ive will have some design brilliance of their own.  
  • Reply 33 of 47
    macseekermacseeker Posts: 446member
    I have both the Power Mac 8600 and the beige G3 Tower Mac.  Easy to change components.  One latch to expose the insides.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 34 of 47
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,376member
    I've been loving my 2014 MBA for five years, and still running like new.

    But the new one, while beautiful, is (deliberately) underpowered terms of available processors, and is afflicted with that abysmal excuse for a keyboard.

    Meaning I'll continue to love my current one until the KB problem gets fixed. 
    edited June 30
  • Reply 35 of 47
    netroxnetrox Posts: 755member
    The original iPhone is truly a revolutionary hardware design with the right software. The subsequental iphones are refinements made possible with better technology. It literally changed the smartphone industry forever. As for Mac, it's definitely iMac G5. It is simple, clean, and gorgeous. Even this current generation of iMac is still much like G5, only thinner, refined, tapered, and faster.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 36 of 47
    RickES4RickES4 Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    In the more recent years I feel Ive's output has become less on user-friendliness and more on aesthetics. The glass back on the iPhone, making it really breakable and almost unrepairable. Dropping headphone jack before making AirPods a mainstream product, the really really beautiful, but underpowered and port-lacking 12"macbook. The round MacPro. Great Apple innovations, in my opinions are the Unibody Aluminium MacBooks (air/pro), The backlit keyboards on MacBooks. the huge touchpad, macbook users have been enjoying since 2007/2008. Great beauty combined with great practical use. Just like the iPhone and iPad, also great achievements. These designs changed the way people thought about certain things. Phones are not supposed to be controlled by stylusses, after using a macbook trackpad in 2008 you never wanted to go back to the tiny trackpad with buttons on windows laptops. and a laptop with a non-backlit keyboard is just silly after using a macbook.. (I recently had a laptop with a small light on the top of the screen, shining down and illuminating the keys)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 37 of 47
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,767member
    T.bias said:
    I believe that, for its time, the iPhone X is not the most amazing iPhone ever created. As long as that notch exists, I will always consider the design to be subpar. I think that the person who put it forward fell for a classic pitfall associated with things of this nature: it is new and more up to date with current views and perceptions. This essentially side steps the work of examining all of Ive’s designs “in their own time”.
     
    With that in mind, why was there no mention of the iPhone 4/4S? IMHO, this design of Ive’s was far and away the best iPhone for its time. It was sold longer than any other iPhone, and for good reason; it is beautiful, sleek, and truly stands out from all other designs of the iPhone.
     
    Another I could consider would be the AirPods. They are exceptionally popular for a reason: They are so well designed that they integrate seemlesly into our lives. That is a good sign that something is designed to perfection. When something almost dissappears into the background because it is so slippery due to the lack of any issues for us to snag on, then you can tell the designer really nailed it!
     
    Lastly, I think the new Apple Pencil is definitely not one of Ive’s best designs ever. It is nice and a good update to the first Apple Pencil, but it doesn’t blow away things like the ground breaking first iPad, the TiBook, the iPhone 4/4S, etc. Again, it is just new and easy to see why it happens to shine in 2019.
     
    Cheers,
    T.bias
    Yes iPhone 4/4S was the best design of all iphones.   The iPhone X is nice but I would rather have in-isplay TouchID or TouchId on the back and a much smaller notch.   
    T.bias
  • Reply 38 of 47
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,273member
    I think I'm going to have to agree with Mike W for my top pick... the iPad. It truly was a device that came closest for the marketing term 'magic' being pretty accurate, even for someone with an electronics/tech background. Amazing from both a design perspective, but as Mike said, an impact one.

    I'd also have to put the PowerBook/MacBook designs right up there, as I owned Apple laptops since the PowerBook 100 (which was a Sony design, I guess). While Apple laptops were always out ahead of the pack, the MacBook Pro somewhere in the early 2000s really hit the pinnacle of laptop design, IMO. I don't know how much Ive was responsible for all of that, though.

    But, iOS 7 is just as great. When Scott Forstall was forced out of Apple and Jony Ive took over the running of software as well as hardware, the result was iOS 7.

    Actually, the result was iOS 7 and then whatever the next version of Android was. The result was that smartphones changed overnight and you can see iOS 7's flattened aesthetic in graphic design used across the world.
    ...
    The previous skeuomorphic approach was meant to help people grasp how to use, say, a calendar on their phone. Now we knew, now we were more familiar with the phone version than we were with actual calendars. Ive could step away from this hand-holding tutorial kind of interface, and make a tool that worked better for us all.

    We've now had the Ive-inspired flat design of iOS for six years, which is as long as the original lasted. But there's no sign of it changing again because there is no need for it to.
    This actually shocked me a bit to find on the list, as I think if we go from hardware to software, this might be the biggest worst impact Ive has had on the entire computing industry. Fortunately/unfortunately, he didn't start it... just copied it.

    Flat design is awful, truly awful. Say what you will about skeuomorphism, but it's a better UI. Having a bunch of nondescript black and white icons, or black text on white backgrounds but might or might not actually be 'buttons' doesn't make a good UI.

    Yes, it can become acceptable under certain circumstances where something becomes a given (ie: that 'burger' menu now popular on mobile, or a website menu across the top). We're getting used to aspects of it slowly. Some icons are becoming 'conventions' and familiar. But, when I get a new iOS app, I can't tell you how many times I've been hesitant to press one of those icons, for fear that it might do something bad and I won't be able to undo it. So, off I go, searching the web hoping someone wrote up a description or someone reported their good/bad experience when they pushed it.

    And... what's worse, is that after iOS 7, nearly ever app (even many on the Mac) took up this horrible design trend. We're still largely recovering from it. Things are beginning to add some depth back in, and color (especially in icons) is starting to return. But, user-interface took a huge blow, mostly due to iOS 7... at least in the Mac world. PC users had a lot of that all along and worse, so it's hard to say if Microsoft's flat designs were a downgrade or improvement.

    sumergo said:
    This article is a seminal critique and it will be used as landmark educational material for many, many generations to come.
    No doubt. One reads that and starts to understand just how deep some of the issues go, and how much of a hack Ive is at UI design. But, unfortunately, I think Apple forgot a bunch of that stuff long before Ive started tinkering with it. iOS 7 was just where it really became blatant.
    lorin schultzplanetary paul
  • Reply 39 of 47
    scatzscatz Posts: 3member
    For me, the iPhone 4 (obviously the 4s as it had more power). When that phone came out, to me, Apple had really pushed the boat out and come up with a beautiful design which was really special. It feels solid in your hands. I liked the glass back in particular. I've owned everything from the original iPhone to the X, but still the design/shape/feel of the 4 stands out as the really special one.

    Other specials, the original CRT iMac in various colours, the mac mini in its simplicity and upgradeability for such a small Apple mac (not to mention all the ports).

    Another mention is the macbook pro. I worked in IT as a systems admin guy on enterprise support, the machine went everywhere, was in use 12 hours a day 7 days a week, every week of the year. Intense use. I used the black one before too (used macbook pro's since 2000). I was not gentle on these machines, and they put up with the abuse I gave them. Particular kudos to my 2012 one which is still in use today (though a backup machine so less used). It still runs everything at full tilt without a sweat on the current o/s. Looks great, works great, and is the embodiment of why it costs more to buy an Apple laptop over anything else. Seven years and still as good as new as far as I am concerned.

    I've got the latest air, and that is certainly a beauty (could do with a chunkier processor though I think, it is slower than my 2012 macbook pro). Have now got used to the new butterfly keyboard for light day to day home use and it is fine. But, for intense work use, sorry Apple, the pre-butterfly keyboard is preferable.
    T.biascgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 40 of 47
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,643member
    I'm not sure it would be my favourite Ive design, but the iPod Shuffle I thought was an incredible achievement in both minimalism and form. It quickly become the first "wearable" music player and yet stripped away almost everything we thought of as the iPod.

    If I had to pick one thing, I'd probably name the iMac (recent versions) as my favourite. Simply put, the iMac is the ultimate desktop computer. The core concept behind the original Macs and the iMacs didn't spring from Ive, but it was he who took the core concept of the iMac -- hide "the computer" behind the screen -- and honed it to perfection.
    watto_cobra
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