Pursuit of Excellence, indeed

As much as I want to link to a million useful bits of Jonathan Ive information there just is not an abundance of it out there which does not specifically relate to his work in industrial design. One great little book on my shelf, Leander Kahney's Inside Steve's Brain, does have some wonderful quotes by the king of design which I want to share.

"There's an applied style of being minimal and simple, and then there's real simplicity," he said. "This looks simple, because it really is."
Ive said keeping it simple was the overall design philosophy for the machine. "We wanted to get rid of anything other than what was absolutely essential, but you don't see that effort," he said. "We kept going back to the beginning again and again. 'Do we need that part? Can we get it to perform the function of the other four parts?' It became an exercise to reduce and reduce, but it makes it easier to build and easier for people to work with."


The small, intimate team is key to being creative and productive, Ive says. He denies that Apple's innovations came from one individual designer or another, but the team working together. It's a process of "collectively learning stuff and getting better at what we do. One of the hallmarks of the team is inquisitiveness, being excited about being wrong because that means you've discovered something new".


Ive has said many times that Apple's design is never forced. The designers never say to each other, "Let's make an organic, feminine-looking computer." The iMac may look friendly and approachable, but that was never part of the machine's design brief. Instead, Apple's designers say, "Let's see what we can do with plastics, maybe we can make a translucent computer." And it proceeds from there. [...] for Ive and his design team, the materials come first. The first iMac, for example, was always intended to be "an unashamedly plastic product," Ive has explained. [...] We spent time in Nothern Japan talking to a master of metal-forming to get a certain kind of detail. We love taking things to pieces, understanding how things are made. The product architecture starts to be informed by really understanding the material."

So just try and tell me now that you don't want to borrow this book!
I suppose what I'm proposing by writing this all up is to PROTOTYPE a million times based on what you encounter while storyboarding. When storyboarding consider the MEDIA you feel we should use in post.