Apple fellow to lead RIM's new user experience team

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
With increased competition from future iPhone technologies looming, Research in Motion has hired a veteran Apple interface director to lead a new team of designers tasked with improving the user experience of the company's BlackBerry handsets.



The Waterloo, Ontario-based smartphone maker last month acquired the services of Don Lindsay from Microsoft, tasking him with crafting a new VP role at the company that will govern a team of engineers charged with advancing the BlackBerry experience.



Lindsay is perhaps best known -- and most sought -- for his near 9-year tenure at Apple between July 1994 and May 2003.



As Design Director of the Mac OS User Experience Group, he led what was called the "Mac OS X interface concept project" and directed the design team responsible for the user experience of Mac OS X 10.0 "Cheetah" through Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther," which included the company's first-generation of iLife digital lifestyle applications.



In October of 2003, Lindsay was lured away from the Mac maker by Microsoft for a key software architecture position overseeing future Windows user experience explorations. Many of his key contributions wound up in Windows Vista components, according to his LinkedIn page, such as the AERO Glass interface and SKU/hardware tiering strategy, Glass Colorization, Flip3D, Alt-tab, window animations, and the Windows Calendar.



Coincidently or not, Lindsay's arrival at RIM came during the same month that Apple held a press conference to show off many of the features planned for its next generation iPhone software.



The BlackBerry maker is currently enthralled in a heated market share battle with Apple in the smartphone sector and recently reported what many industry watchers consider to be an extraordinary quarter given the current economic conditions.



For the three-month period ending February 28th, the company reported shipping a record 7.8 million BlackBerry handsets and an 84 percent increase in sales to $3.46 billion, sending its shares surging some 23 percent. Apple won't report iPhone sales for its last quarter (ended March) until later this month, though its quarter isn't a direct compare with RIM's, which included the holiday month of December.



Word of Lindsay's appointment at RIM was first reported by mocoNews alongside a somewhat dubious claim that his experience with early versions of Mac OS X made him one of the "mastermind behind the iPhone user interface."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    I would not be surprised if he was hired by Mircosoft hoping to make a huge difference then got tied down and told how to design what they hired him to design.
  • Reply 2 of 29
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    So the Blackberry will get some coloured blobs ?
  • Reply 3 of 29
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    What ever happened to non-compete clauses? Do some people simply negotiate them away?
  • Reply 4 of 29
    cu10cu10 Posts: 294member
    Talented man. Good work AI. APPL = $119.57 so far so good.
  • Reply 5 of 29
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    I hope he finds better success than those ex Apple employees that tried to revolutionize Linux with Nautilus.



    I've worked in large enough companies to know that often there's a figurehead that gets the credit but the real innovative stuff is done by the talented minions behind them.
  • Reply 6 of 29
    jimdreamworxjimdreamworx Posts: 1,079member
    Considering his CV states that he worked up until 10.3 and that Dashboard - with widgets that look very similar to the iPhone UI - didn't appear till 10.4 I highly doubt he was involved by being the mastermind behind the iPhone UI.
  • Reply 7 of 29
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member
    Odd: I never heard much of Don when I came over from NeXT. In fact, I never ever heard his name mentioned in Engineering, the UI teams or more.



    Best of luck to him.
  • Reply 8 of 29
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    I hope he finds better success than those ex Apple employees that tried to revolutionize Linux with Nautilus.



    I've worked in large enough companies to know that often there's a figurehead that gets the credit but the real innovative stuff is done by the talented minions behind them.



    Then you've not worked under Steve. The guy is a perfectionist [something I enjoyed] and he also gives immediate credit when he feels a product has met the goals of their aim. His stand up rounds of applause is something he carried over from NeXT to Apple.



    He may not have been that way before NeXT but he became that way.
  • Reply 9 of 29
    Hey, it worked for Palm.
  • Reply 10 of 29
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,608member
    The more talented people that get into trying to improve UI, the better. It would be pretty easy to mock the whole MS experience, but I'll hope for the best.



    I'll also hope Apple sold 5MM iPhones in their quarter...
  • Reply 11 of 29
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    At least it isn't Bruce Tognazzini.



    Maybe RIM will get something out of the relationship, but I would think they need a hardware guy more than they need a software designer.
  • Reply 12 of 29
    morkymorky Posts: 193member
    Non compete clauses are illegal in California.
  • Reply 13 of 29
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by psychodoughboy View Post


    Hey, it worked for Palm.



    That remains to be seen.
  • Reply 14 of 29
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    Then you've not worked under Steve. The guy is a perfectionist [something I enjoyed] and he also gives immediate credit when he feels a product has met the goals of their aim. His stand up rounds of applause is something he carried over from NeXT to Apple.



    He may not have been that way before NeXT but he became that way.



    Nope I've never worked for any Exec close to Steve Jobs. I heard he designed the Pixar location in Emoryville down to the tile. He's really driven by design and I do like that it feeds into the rest of Apple even though the frugal curmudgeon in me wants high style for Target pricing.
  • Reply 15 of 29
    No wonder windows interface keeps getting worse. These foreign companies are poaching American talent.
  • Reply 16 of 29
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The BlackBerry maker is currently enthralled in a heated market share battle with Apple...



    You mean "embroiled", right?



    It's hard for me to decide whether to view Lindsay's many career changes as "prolific" or "promiscuous". Either way, let's hope it ends up improving the user experience of all those platforms (not just homogenizing them).
  • Reply 17 of 29
    ksecksec Posts: 1,568member
    I think now anyone who has wrote "Worked for Apple " in their CV gets some special treatment ....
  • Reply 18 of 29
    I'm not sure about Lindsay being a major player in the iPhone. That was a few years down the road by the time he left.



    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Resear...-14895105.html
  • Reply 19 of 29
    He left Apple for Microsoft in 2003, a year before the iPhone project was even started in (mid- 2004).
  • Reply 20 of 29
    ibillibill Posts: 400member
    I predict Blackberry will get the spinning beach ball out of this.
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