“What people are responding to is much bigger than the object. They are responding to something rare — a group of people who do more than simply make something work, they make the very best products they possibly can. It’s a demonstration against thoughtlessness and carelessness,” – Jony Ive
Jony Ive is not a household name like Steve Jobs, likely less than Stephen Wosniak as well. However, Jony’s role in Apple, the design world, and the technology industry, has been remarkable. Jony Ive is Apple’s creative head, in charge of both product hardware and software.
Jony’s design education was shaped by renowned English design schools and his father’s passion for industrial design. At a very young age, many were blown away by Jony’s sophisticated design taste and ideas. Jony left his agency and homeland for Apple and the opportunity to work on projects that would be driven by his ideas and creativity (not just what clients wanted to see).
It is incredible to read about the evolution of Apple’s emphasis on design and how it practically became the driving force of the company. Upon Steve Jobs’ return to Apple (and seeing what Jony was capable of), the IDG group’s role changed dramatically-design would drive engineering. The design group would essentially run the show at Apple.
It is no coincidence that Jony and Steve were such close friends (Jobs called Ive his spiritual partner at Apple)-they both shared a passion for design and user experience. The details and nuances mattered to them-even the parts that were not visible to the user. They both had this knack for deeply understanding the features and design necessary to make products intuitive, simple, and elegant. Jony was incredibly passionate about bringing personality to the industry and its products. He felt that these products were very anonymous and just functioning devices with skins slapped on them. They were not created with a vision of the product’s essence and the user experience in mind.
Jobs stated at one point that he was the only person Jony had to answer to. While Jobs was sick, he handed the company over to two men: Tim Cook and Jony. Jony would run the products and core of apple. Cook, the operations magician, would man the ship.
Apple’s designs and products had an enormous impact on the design community both inside and outside the tech industry. One example is how the iMac – inspired all kinds of products to be sold in transparent and varied colors. They changed how products are viewed and showed how the user’s experience/story should shape the design and feel of the product or service.
Oh, and Apple’s widespread use of the color white, that’s Jony too 🙂