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Jonathan Ive - Apple's Design Magician

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the rabbit-plus-hat-equals-ipod dept.

211

conq writes "BusinessWeek takes an in-depth look at the man behind the Apple magic. The article features a slideshow with all his designs (including one before he was with Apple)." From the article: "During an internship with design consultancy Roberts Weaver Group, he created a pen that had a ball and clip mechanism on top, for no purpose other than to give the owner something to fiddle with. 'It immediately became the owner's prize possession, something you always wanted to play with,' recalls Grinyer, a Roberts Weaver staffer at the time. 'We began to call it having Jony-ness, an extra something that would tap into the product's underlying emotion.'"

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211 comments

First ball and clip (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16115199)

He really should have spent his time trying to get FIRST POST!

TIME FOR THE DAILY APPLE GAYFEST (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16115204)

Comment away fags...

Amazing creativity.. (4, Insightful)

HatchedEggs (1002127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115221)

You have to admit, the guy must have some creative genious in him. Looking at all those projects there isn't one that I didn't like. The only one that had me scratching my head a little bit about was the vertical fax. Of course, perhaps there was a reason to the madness of that. Regardless, the designs implemented by the groups he has worked with are great.

Oh, but as to the pen... (3, Interesting)

HatchedEggs (1002127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115238)

Whats the deal with mentioning the amazing pen and not showing a pic of it?

C'mon guys, get it together. Now I have to go do a search on it...

_________________________________________
http://hatchedeggs.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:Oh, but as to the pen... (1)

Morphine007 (207082) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115247)

Hurry, it's your only chance of getting a +5 Informative

I'm only being a little facetious... I want to know what the hell they're talking about too :-)

Re:Oh, but as to the pen... (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115290)

Yup, same here. That's why I clicked the link for the slideshow. Unfortunately, all I got was an upright fax machine (and a bunch of things I've seen before)...

Re:Oh, but as to the pen... (2, Funny)

HatchedEggs (1002127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115296)

If I get a +5 informative for that post then some people are definitely a bit too bored at work.

btw, no such luck finding the pen so far.

Re:Oh, but as to the pen... (0, Redundant)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115964)

I found a Bio of him

1985
[College]

1989
Becomes a partner at Tangerine, a London-based design consultancy where he works on a wide range of products from power tools to wash basins.

1992
Moves to San Francisco to join the Apple design team.

I imagine Tangerine is where he designed this pen.

Re:Oh, but as to the pen... (3, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115329)

Now I have to go do a search on it...

Here's a tip for you. Don't do a GIS for "ball clip." :-x

Re:Oh, but as to the pen... (1)

HatchedEggs (1002127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115435)

I guess the other tip would be to learn how to spell genius.

Er, thanks though... I'll stay well away from that search.

Re:Oh, but as to the pen... (1)

mlow82 (889294) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115681)

Here's a tip for you. Don't do a GIS for "ball clip." :-x
Now everyone is going to do an image search for "ball clip", myself included. =)

Re:They didn't show the Apple Remote either (1)

Psykechan (255694) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115579)

They have a slide [businessweek.com] that talks about the Apple Remote but they don't actually show a picture [apple.com] of it.

They also don't mention the best part about the design: the fact that it magnetically sticks to the side of an iMac. It's always there when you want it and easily transforms the iMac from a computer to media center.

Re:Amazing creativity.. (2, Insightful)

rilister (316428) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115827)

what bugs me about this hero worship is that the words "Jonathon Ives" frequently get confused with "Apple's ID group". See how often items in that article are actually credited to "Ives' team", rather than the guy himself?

Apple have an extraordinary ID team, which obviously includes many talented individuals who simply don't get the credit. It's obviously in Apple's interests to build up the mystique of their 'genius' ID guru, but to the nameless ID's who executed these designs: I salute you!

Re:Amazing creativity.. (1)

HatchedEggs (1002127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115972)

Good point!

And isn't that always the way of things. Hardly anything great is done solo, and yet so much of the time the rest of the team remains hidden in the background.

I'm surprised that Jonathan Ive lets a guy run a web site in his name. Not that its such a bad thing, but the guy has done such a poor job of it.

Re:Amazing creativity.. (1)

iwsnet (946715) | more than 7 years ago | (#16116179)

This guy is definitely God. He is probably as important to Apple as Steve Jobs.

I can relate.. (4, Funny)

vancondo (986849) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115276)

"During an internship with design consultancy Roberts Weaver Group, he created a pen that had a ball and clip mechanism on top, for no purpose other than to give the owner something to fiddle with."

Sometimes I fiddle with my balls too, does that mean I have the same sort of creative energy?

--
The importance of balls in vancouver realestate [vancouvercondo.info]

Re:I can relate.. (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115311)

Yeah, but do they have a clip on top, too? Wait, don't answer that...

Re:I can relate.. (1)

rekab (990669) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115320)

If that was the case with everyone, and we found a way to harness such creative energy, we would be able to power the world...

Re:I can relate.. (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115424)

Sometimes I fiddle with my balls too, does that mean I have the same sort of creative energy?

No. no. no. You and the owner of the company are the useless people who play with the balls. Mr. Ives and whoever created your balls are the ones with creative energy.

creative energy? (1)

mlow82 (889294) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115705)

Sometimes I fiddle with my balls too, does that mean I have the same sort of creative energy?
Energy? Yes. Creative? Not very for something that almost half of the world does on a daily basis. =)

Why yes, yes I can.. (1, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115301)

By tucking the electronic guts of the Mac right behind the LCD display, Ive's team essentially made the PC disappear. Can someone explain why this won't be the future of PC design for anyone other than gamers--or why the rest of the industry hasn't followed suit yet?

Because that's called a laptop without a battery and is fuckin' pointless. Sure, it looks cool but once its outdated you throw it away. People don't like that with laptops but they put up with it because its portable. This aint, so why put up with it?

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

fodder69 (701416) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115333)


Oh you're right, because everybody has the same computer case they started with.

In fact, my grandmother just put a new motherboard in her computer so she could get higher framrates in Solitare. And her emails come a lot faster now too.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (-1, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115370)

Your grandmother will undoubtably throw away her computer and buy a new one at some point, if she doesn't die first.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16115358)

The only thing more pathetic than a PC user is a PC user trying to be a Mac user. We have a name for you people: switcheurs.

There's a good reason for your vexation at the iMac's uncluttered all-in-one design: You don't speak its language. Remember that the Mac was designed by artists [atspace.com] , for artists [atspace.com] , be they poets [atspace.com] , musicians [atspace.com] , or avant-garde mathematicians [atspace.com] . A shiny new Mac can introduce your frathouse hovel to a modicum of good taste, but it can't make Mac users out of dweebs [atspace.com] and squares [atspace.com] like you.

So don't force what doesn't come naturally. You'll be much happier if you stick to an OS that matches your personality. And you'll be doing the rest of us a favor, too; you leave Macs to Mac users, and we'll leave beige to you.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (-1, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115414)

And similarly you just answered the original question. The reason why the rest of the computer industry hasn't switch to the all-in-one model is that the majority of people who buy computers want a computer, not an excuse to enjoy the smell of their own farts.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (4, Insightful)

Pink Tinkletini (978889) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115445)

Wrong. Most people who buy a computer don't want a computer per se. They want to write emails, create photo albums, listen to music, browse the web. The computer is just the means by which all this is accomplished. Very few in the tech industry seem to realize this.

Sort of how Nintendo declares that while Sony and Microsoft see themselves as tech companies who make games, Nintendo sees itself as a game company that just happens to use tech.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (-1, Redundant)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115522)

most people who buy a computer don't want a computer per se

And Mac lovers wonder why they only have 10% of the market share. Yes, self important man, when I buy a computer I want a computer. When I buy a car, I want a car. Claiming that I don't really want a car per se, I actually want the independence that a car provides is bullshit. Go back to art school.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

Pink Tinkletini (978889) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115634)

Wow. I didn't say you didn't want a computer, just that most people would rather have an appliance that lets them do the things they want to do, whether it's email, web, chat, word processing, film editing, web design, or programming. And I bet if you search deep within your soul, you'll find you don't really want a car; you want the ability to travel with convenience and ease. You've got it with your car, but I've got it with my MetroCard. These are only means to an end.

See, from my perspective, it's Microsoft and the PC world who are busy sniffing their own farts. They're convinced that everyone wants their fancy, shiny, but ultimately useless nerd-tech demos of the day, and moreover, that everyone is willing to restructure their lives to accommodate their schlock. Meanwhile, Apple actually respects its customers' needs and delivers products, like the iMac, that fit into their lives with a minimum of fuss.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115725)

Both of you need a diaper change. Stop crying!

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (0, Redundant)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115739)

You're just making stupid disingenuous statements. Most people don't want an X, they want something that allows them to do things-you-do-with-X. It's just semantic nonsense.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

Pink Tinkletini (978889) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115817)

Look, I'll state it as simply as possible. Apple gives people what they want: a simple, clean, all-in-one Internet appliance. You, on the other hand, seem to advocate foisting a mess of hardware upon the majority of people who would rather have aforementioned all-in-one appliance.

Apple respects people's wishes, while you shovel your ego at them, proudly declaring "Believe me, this where you want to go today!" That makes you the fartsniffer, fartsniffer.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (0, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115882)

I don't see where you get off proclaiming Apple gives people what they want when the vast majority of people don't want Apple computers.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

Pink Tinkletini (978889) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115930)

But as others have stated in this thread, the vast majority of people don't upgrade their systems piecemeal, either. Not only Apple, but Dell, HP, and Gateway offer complete systems as well.

I'll leave it to others to bite the hostility sure to follow from you.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115978)

hehe, I love it. "Apple gives people what they want!" "no they don't." "Well, err, Dell and Gateway offer full systems too." Way to non sequitur.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (5, Funny)

DysenteryInTheRanks (902824) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115474)

We have a name for you people: switcheurs.

My god you're good.

I hope the rest of you trolls out there are paying attention to this Arrogant Mac Guy. He really knows his stuff.

Read the parent post. No, really. It's totally worth it. Take a minute. I'll wait.

Done? Good. See how you sort of want to laugh out loud, but how you also just threw up a little bit in your mouth? See how you can't tell if he's serious, or trying to be funny; whether he's mocking arrogant Mac users or IS an arrogant Mac user?

Didn't you sort of feel like going to the Apple store and physically murdering one of those smug little Genius Bartenders? And then buying an iBook for $8000? THAT'S a good troll.

This guy, he is elevating the Slashdot troll from common verbal diarrhea to subliminal political treatise. He's breeding a little revolution.

I've been watching him. This thing has evolved. He's been honing it, polishing, like a fine little gem. He has posted something similar about 437 times, and no two are exactly the same. It is the snowflake of trolls.

It's not even a troll. It's a fauxtroll. A trollody. A trollsterpiece.

Arrogant Mac Guy. Awesome. Keep it up. Or cut it out. I love to hate you and hate to love you.

And I need a Sprite.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115771)

You almost had me. I was right with you, enjoying ing your troll critique until I got to the very end, then BAM! "And I need a Sprite." No human drinks sprite. You must be here marketing it in an astroturf campaign, in collusion with the trolls. Well, I'd best go get an RC cola to help me forget all this.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

DysenteryInTheRanks (902824) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115802)

Well, if I threw up a little in my mouth ...

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

DysenteryInTheRanks (902824) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115842)

... then even *I* could enjoy the nasty ass taste of nasty ass Sprite ;->

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

TheScottMan (717068) | more than 7 years ago | (#16116035)

"He has posted something similar about 437 times, and no two are exactly the same. It is the snowflake of trolls." Lad, This comment seems to indicate a bit of obsessive behavior on your part. Put down the mouse. Move away from the keyboard. Go outside and enjoy the day.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

mackyrae (999347) | more than 7 years ago | (#16116152)

Hmm reminds me of this [ctrlaltdel-online.com]

I never understood the appeal of a computer that costs more and can't be customized. I guess if you can't figure out how to work a computer, one that's really simplified [ctrlaltdel-online.com] and doesn't require that you know anything about computers (even how to turn them on it seems, when comes to the laptops) could be useful.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (5, Insightful)

thesource1 (1003067) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115361)

You're forgetting to look outside the geek, and into the bigger world. Less than 1% of PC owners actually upgrade their machines beyond RAM. They don't do chip upgrades, they don't do HDD upgrades, and they don't even use the expantion slots. Its not pointless, in fact, you've got it backwards. Its pointless to design for such things if no one (respectively) uses them. Its not pointless, its called meeting many design requirements, and meeting them better. Design for use, design for manufature, design for service, etc. That's why those machines only need the RAM upgrade slots. Granted that on the newer ones you can swap out intel chips, but no one (again outside the alpha geeks) will. So the opposite of pointless in SO many ways.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115394)

Most people buy a new screen, though, because it's the simplest part to upgrade.. integrating the computer into the monitor is just taking away this capability. Of course, if you could plug in a second monitor, that would be just as good, but I don't believe you can.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (3, Insightful)

Pink Tinkletini (978889) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115418)

You believe wrong. [apple.com]

Don't forget that Macs were supporting dual display setups (and triple, etc.) before Windows even knew what to do with one screen. Some say it still doesn't.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

paskal (150433) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115433)

Of course, if you could plug in a second monitor, that would be just as good, but I don't believe you can.


The new iMacs have a mini-DVI port so that you can plug in a second monitor to extend your desktop.

http://www.apple.com/imac/graphics.html [apple.com]

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (4, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115970)

You do realise apple is the only OS company that supports LIVE monitor switching right? I am talking about while the machine is running phyiscally unplugging one display and plugging in another.

Try that with windows or X. Both choke if you unplug the VGA connector and plug in a completely different resolution monitor or TV. My powerbook just blanks the screen and switches to the apporiate size.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16116070)

You are aware that this technology wasn't in the model we're actually talking about right? You couldn't even plug a second monitor into that model.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

SEMW (967629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115375)

I suppose it could be useful if you want something 'semi-portable' - e.g. if you need to take a computer to and from University or something, but don't like typing on laptop keyboards. Assuming students can afford one. Or possibly aimed at the "Lifestyle PCs" market, similar to this [mediacenterpcworld.com] or this [elonex.co.uk] . In any case, it's rather a niche within a niche -- but on the other hand, isn't that Apple's forte, taking a niche within a niche and making it mainstream?

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (3, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115396)

Because that's called a laptop without a battery and is fuckin' pointless. Sure, it looks cool but once its outdated you throw it away. People don't like that with laptops but they put up with it because its portable.

Most people put up with it with laptops because they just don't care. Most people do exactly what you said, they buy a computer, and once it's outdated, they get a whole new computer.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (4, Insightful)

Doctor Memory (6336) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115408)

Because that's called a laptop without a battery and is fuckin' pointless.
Uh, I'm gonna have to call bullshit on this one. Your average computer buyer (c.f., Slashdot poster) buys a whole package when they upgrade: CPU, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and often printer. Then they give the old system to Grandma or the kids or it goes into the TV room as the "family" computer. Nobody buys just a new motherboard or CPU tower, because Wal-Mart/Best Buy/CompUSA/Office Max doesn't stock 'em.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115569)

That's a good point. I've looked around everywhere in CompUSA, and they have just about everything I need to build a computer (CPU, RAM, heatsinks, fans, towers, thermal paste, video cards, monitors), but never once have I seen a motherboard in that store.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115676)

average computer buyers who go for whole packages also buy upgrades as part of the packages and apple is doing that the worng way as they for you to get a bigger screen to be able TO BUY a better video card and the bigger screen also needs more power to run at it's best screen size so it's lose lose for gamers and how is apple going to get them to to switch to mac?

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (4, Insightful)

djrogers (153854) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115441)

Because that's called a laptop without a battery and is *****' pointless. Sure, it looks cool but once its outdated you throw it away. People don't like that with laptops but they put up with it because its portable. This aint, so why put up with it?

I don't know a single person outside of the geek/IT realm who doesn't go to costco/best buy/etc and buy a whole new computer with a new monitor when the old one is outdated. Not one. The iMac is no different - your new computer comes with a new monitor. Monitors get outdated too ya know, or are you still using the same 14"CRT from 1997? The vast majority of people out there don't care that they won't be able to re-use the monitor as a second display with their shiny new computer - most don't even realize you can do that )or the thought of openeing their shiny new computer and adding a second video card is far too scary for them).

As far as any other types of upgrades go, you've got to be joking, right? Swapping video cards and CPUs? Not a chance - heck, by the time the average user feels a need to upgrade either, the interfaces are different and their mobo is obsolete. Hard drives? That's what externals are for. Have you seen the storage displays at the big bix stores lately? USB/FW drives are selling like crazy because people just want to plug them in without opening their cases...

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (0, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115549)

You did not just censor my comment in your quote did you? The fact that you live in anedotic evidence land where everyone does the same as your mother's boyfriends does not mean that the market no longer values upgradability.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115673)

slate published a recent article extolling the benefits of upgrading your monitor [slate.com]


I bought a faster computer for Office A so I could juggle multiple windows and apps more quickly. On Office B's 1600 x 1200 pixel screen, I don't need to juggle at all. I've even got extra turf to keep background tasks onscreen. If I get an instant message while on deadline, I can scan it in my peripheral vision without moving my hands on the keyboard. If I need to reply, I don't have to shove my work aside. I can keep an eye on inbound e-mail while writing and click to zap an annoying song from iTunes without fumbling for the application. I've even squeezed an analog clock and a weather widget into a spare corner so I needn't remember to check them.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

naoursla (99850) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115975)

Actually, I am using the same 21" CRT from 1997. What is your point?

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 7 years ago | (#16116159)

"Monitors get outdated too ya know, or are you still using the same 14"CRT from 1997?"

Actually, I *am* still using my 19" CRT from 1997. It does 1600x1200 at 76Hz, and has the sharpest text I've ever seen short of an LCD with digital inputs.

It's lasted through three computers and is still going strong.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (2, Funny)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115535)

By tucking the electronic guts of the Mac right behind the LCD display, Ive's team essentially made the PC disappear. Can someone explain why this won't be the future of PC design for anyone other than gamers--or why the rest of the industry hasn't followed suit yet?

Perhaps not the rest of the industry didn't follow, but don't overlook these triumphs of industrial design [thejournal.com] .

I had the pleasure of remotely supporting a half dozen of these fine machines. The only thing that held me together was my dream of the day they would be retired, and I could take one out and go 'Office Space' on its ass.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

paulsartre (997496) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115815)

By all that is holy in design land, that thing is horrible. The "designer" that made it and the executives that ok'd it should be taken out back to the dumpster for a summary lobotomization.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (2, Insightful)

hab136 (30884) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115537)

Because that's called a laptop without a battery and is fuckin' pointless. Sure, it looks cool but once its outdated you throw it away. People don't like that with laptops but they put up with it because its portable. This aint, so why put up with it?

You answered it yourself - because it looks cool.

Function is mostly solved; aside from gamers and developers, almost any computer will work for average Joe's desktop use. What's left? Form - looks, interface, size, etc.

$10 curtains block the light just as well as $200 curtains.. but people still buy the $200 curtains.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (0, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115596)

$10 curtains block the light just as well as $200 curtains.. but people still buy the $200 curtains.

Are you trying to suggest that only pretenious wankers by Macs?

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

Mattintosh (758112) | more than 7 years ago | (#16116071)

You have it all wrong.

$10 curtains = Nerds who don't care or welfare recipients that can't afford better. The former has multiple PC's, all working, and of various ages. The latter has a mid-level PC that may or may not work.

$200 curtains = Normal and non-dirt-poor people who like nice things and like to keep up a certain level of appearance. These people are likely to be rather clueless about computers, but they usually have a high-end one. Non-clueless ones might have a Mac. Clueless ones will most certainly have the shiniest Best Buy has to offer.

$2000 curtains = Pretentious wankers. These people don't buy Macs because "nobody uses Macs". Remember, it's all about the image, and if you don't fit in, your image is tarnished. They frequently are of the opinion that:
- fags are awful, horrible, contagious people
- all graphic designers are fags
- Macs are only used by graphic designers
- Therefore, if they were to buy and use a Mac, they too would become a fag.
I know of several people with this line of reasoning, and (surprise, surprise) they all voted for George W. Bush. Clearly, pretentious wankers are to be avoided until such time as we can round them up and commit pretentious-wanker-cide.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

hab136 (30884) | more than 7 years ago | (#16116212)

Are you trying to suggest that only pretenious wankers by Macs?

Nope. Especially since I have a Powerbook along with my XP gaming box and Linux server. :)

I am saying that if you can choose between several different products, and they all present the same functionality, then other factors come into play, such as looks.

For example, any laptop would've worked for the web-surfing, email, and digital camera uploads that I need when I travel. My Powerbook is nice looking and easy to carry since it's so small (12" G4 Powerbook). The power adapter is small and packs up nicer than any other I've seen. So, I bought it for its form, since functionality was already taken care of.

Side note: while I've traveled with Dells and Thinkpads for years (the butterfly-keyboard Thinkpad [lbl.gov] was my favorite for a long time), I've never been stopped and asked about my laptop until I started carrying my Powerbook.

My server box on the other hand, is an ugly Frankenstein monster. It does its job and lives in a closet, so who cares about looks.

I think this is something the geek community forgets - that most non-geek people place looks right up alongside price and functionality.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

XzeroR3 (774011) | more than 7 years ago | (#16116286)

$10 curtains block the light just as well as $200 curtains.. but people still buy the $200 curtains.

Since you are using curtains as examples and since this is slashdot and everyone here posts something that goes off on a tangent of the parent post...

Real slashdotters would use blackout cloth for curtains since we don't care about design, we care about the purpose of a curtain and how geeky can the curtain be. If a curtain is to block light, then we must have the best "block light" curtain (think linux for curtains? :P)... in our case this is blackout cloth. (If you don't know about blackout cloth, the DIY projection scene makes large (>50") screens with this)

While I disagree with what you are saying... (1)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115548)

...I do however, find it funny that the G4 iMac calls it's competitors silly for just stuffing the computer behind an LCD whenever that is exactly what the G5/Intel iMac did. Emphasis mine: and today's "PC-less" models, which seem to be nothing more than slightly overweight displays. I do think that all in one PC's are a "good thing" some the average user doesn't upgrade their computers insides that much anyways. The LCD screen will be seen as obsolete, small, low resolution, whatever whenever the rest of the computer in the iMac is. If you build one of those to spec and buy it, there shouldn't be much upgrading needed after that unless you want to apply a few incremental processor upgrades. I'd rather save my money and buy a whole new system than slowly tack on to an old one like I used to do.

Re:While I disagree with what you are saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16115696)

Huh? Do you have reading comprehension problems? Apple (or, as you seem to think, the G4 iMac) didn't say the thing about slightly overweight displays. The quote was written by Peter Burrows of BusinessWeek. It was describing how the G4 iMac was an evolutionary step between the CRT iMac and the current one.

Either way, it was a startling, elegant evolutionary step between the original iMac with its bulky cathode ray tube and today's "PC-less" models, which seem to be nothing more than slightly overweight displays.

Furthermore, it wasn't a jab at anything -- not at the competition (there was, and still is none like that), not at the current iMac. It was praising both the lampshade model and the current model. I can't figure out how you thought that was Apple saying that, that it was derogatory, or that they were being hypocritical for bashing what would be their next generation product. Next time slow down when reading... ;)

By the way, nice website.

Jumpy, but there are a few items of note. (1)

HatchedEggs (1002127) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115552)

Some people have jumped on the guy who posted this thread a bit... and some of that is understandable.

However, I think that as everything continues more "Average" users will gravitate towards power users position. Not so much asbe completely entralled by every last detail of a computer, but enough so that perhaps updating hardware without purchasing a whole new system will be a bit more common place.

So yeah, that design does work well for quite a few people right now. Later on in the future though when nearly everybody has grown up in a generation of computing being the de facto standard... then it might be a different story. Thats not so far away either.

__________________________________________
http://hatchedeggs.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:Jumpy, but there are a few items of note. (1)

flooey (695860) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115763)

However, I think that as everything continues more "Average" users will gravitate towards power users position. Not so much asbe completely entralled by every last detail of a computer, but enough so that perhaps updating hardware without purchasing a whole new system will be a bit more common place.

So yeah, that design does work well for quite a few people right now. Later on in the future though when nearly everybody has grown up in a generation of computing being the de facto standard... then it might be a different story. Thats not so far away either.


I actually think it'll be exactly the opposite. When my dad was in high school, he and his friends would go home after school and work on their cars or build transistor radios. When I was in high school, not only did I not know anyone who did that (instead, we went home after school and messed with our computers), but my dad and all of his friends have stopped working on their cars or electronics as well. As technology matures and becomes more commoditized, I think it just ceases to be fun to mess with, and people go towards more ready-made systems.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115602)

also it uses laptop ram, laptop cpu, laptop video, and a laptop hard drive.
Games want full power desktop hardware and others want want a system with out a display build in.

Re:Why yes, yes I can.. (1)

guet (525509) | more than 7 years ago | (#16116003)

Sure, it looks cool but once it's outdated you throw it away.

Do you really throw away your old computers? ? ? I sell them or give them away. I always thought most people did that. And an AIO design doesn't make doing those things any harder. All of the AIO computers I've ever owned are still chugging away on someone else's desk, several years later.

There are advantages to the AIO format (takes up less space, easy to install, easy to move) as well. Just because those aren't important to you doesn't mean they wouldn't be to others. Personally, I don't know why people put up with ugly noisy boxes under their desks and a mess of wires when they could have a fanless computer hidden away behind the LCD.

Give credit where credit is due. (3, Insightful)

thesource1 (1003067) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115324)

But where is it due. How many designers actually take credit for these things? If you dig around and see how many people claim to have had something to do with these designs, it becomes clear that a good chunk of this stuff is outsourced. And I'm not talking the nitty gritty stuff, I'm talking the conceptualizations as well. Don't get me wrong, the man's a genuis, but he isn't responsible for half this stuff.

Re:Give credit where credit is due. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16115409)

I agree. Here I was thinking this whole time Steve Jobs was responsible for the design of Apple products. At least that is the assumption I've got from various /. posts over the last 5 years. In fact, I've read so many posts about how great Apple designs are but never once heard this guys name mentioned here.

Re:Give credit where credit is due. (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16116271)

I've seen Ive's name mentioned here several times. I don't think Steve Jobs ever claimed that the designs were his.

How is he not responsible? (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115545)

Don't get me wrong, the man's a genuis, but he isn't responsible for half this stuff.

I'm not sure what you're saying here. Ive leads a team of designers, so of course every rounded corner or concealed latch isn't his doing. But he is responsible for ensuring that when the hardware ships, the design is top notch. His work is as much about deciding what contributions to refuse as much as it is deciding which to accept. So ultimately he is responsible for all of it.

I'm also unclear on what you mean by "outsourced" in this context. Do you mean that someone in India designed the iMac? Or do you you mean that someone outside of Apple's design team did a lot of the work?

As for conceptualizations being designed by someone else, I'm unclear on that as well. I understand that Jobs always provides input into hardware designs, and that the iPod scroll wheel didn't come from Apple. Beyond that, where are the legions of people whose fame Ive is hijacking?

Re:Give credit where credit is due. (1)

rahrens (939941) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115679)

Didn't you read TFA? Ive WAS responsible for those designs. They were NOT outsourced. Cites, please? Put up or shut up.

Business Week Dufuses (2, Informative)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115325)

They have a slide saying that Jonathan Ive designed the Newton MessagePad 110. However, the picture they show is not the MessagePad 110 - it is a picture of the original MessagePad or the MessagePad 100 (which had the same case).

Also, I KNOW that Jonathan Ive designed the eMate 300 which they don't show. I was not aware that he did design the 110 - which may not in fact be true. Possibly they are crediting him with the design of the wrong device. In any case, they look like idiots with a slide of the Newton 110 and a picture of the OMP (Original MessagePad).

I would have emailed them to point out the problem, but was unable to find an email address in their "contact us" section.

Re:Business Week Dufuses (3, Funny)

tb3 (313150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115458)

Bah, that's nothing, how about this gem?
The Newton software became known for being far ahead of its time--and for disastrously mediocre voice-recognition software.

No kidding! I screamed myself hoarse at my Newton, but it never listened.

Re:Business Week Dufuses (1)

Keith Russell (4440) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115539)

Actually, they composed that page on a MessagePad. They wrote "comically unreliable handwriting processing system", and got "disastrously mediocre voice-recognition software." Somehow, it still ended up as parsable English, so the editors missed it.

Re:Business Week Dufuses (1)

rahrens (939941) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115720)

Hmmm..."(which had the same case)"

I guess if it had the same case, then Ives must have designed that too? Just a slip up in the ID of the item in the photo then. True, it's not smart to do that in a major national publication!

Re:Business Week Dufuses (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16116268)

No. I meant that the OMP and MP100 have the same case. The MP 110 has a different case. The caption says it is a MP 110 - the picture is EITHER an OMP or MP100 (the two things that have the same case.)

$100 laptop project needs his help! (0, Troll)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115340)

Those things are ugly [com.com] ! Green?! C'mon!

They got this right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16115830)

Despite what you may have read on slashdot, design is not about making everything "cool". Design is about making things *appropriate*. For Apple, these are often one and the same, but this is not always the case: even the trash can on the corner had to be designed [joelonsoftware.com] by somebody.

In the case of the OLPC, a design goal was for it to stick out, and scream "educational". This will help reduce theft, they believe. Garish colors are good for that.

Similarly, a mail truck isn't as sexy as an Audi. But that's OK, because it has different purposes. It's hard to imagine anybody wanting to steal a mail truck, and that's more important than Newman having a sweet ride.

Now I know his name (0, Troll)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115368)

All of this time, I've been blaming Steve Jobs alone for fucking up the Macintosh line.

I see that I was wrong. In the span of time between 1999 and 2001 Macs went from a design that I'd describe as "Post-Industrial Elegance" to "See-Through Faggotry".

The G5 Macs continued to have that elegance, but the rest of Apple's line was so far away, that I haven't even looked back.

LK

Re:Now I know his name (2, Funny)

Ashen (6917) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115507)

I don't know, I would say that using the description "Post-Industrial Elegance" is a kind of faggotry in it's own right.

Re:Now I know his name (1)

Absentminded-Artist (560582) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115832)

I don't know what is more worrying. That the parent equates translucent plastic with homosexuality or that he thought Steve Jobs personally designed all of Apple's computers.

Style over substance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16115428)

Apple products are the ultimate triumph of style over substance, valued by people who are themselves more style than substance. Give me an inexpensive beige box with Gnome or KDE any day.

Re:Style over substance (1)

SEMW (967629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115488)

>Give me an inexpensive beige box with Gnome or KDE any day.

Gnome or KDE wouldn't actually be much use without an operating system on which to run them...

Besides, Apple has made significant improvements in pricing, especially towards the higher end; to the point where, in equivalently specced high end workstations from Apple and Dell, Apple is $90 cheaper (both with displays) and $581 cheaper (without displays) (source [internet-nexus.com] ).

Re:Style over substance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16115511)

beige boxes with Gnome or KDE are valued by masochists who love pain over comfort, an incorrect feeling of computing superiority over simple ease of use, and baking a cake over eating a cake. take your useful, but marginalized OSes and go IRC with some of your unwashed beared brothers about how you can get that new video card to work with your franken-machine. me, i'll be over here with my uncluttered desk, digital music, email, pr0n and peace of mind.

Re:Style over substance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16115516)

Translation: "I've never had sex, nor will I ever."

Enjoy recompiling your kernel.

Re:Style over substance (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#16116110)

Enjoy recompiling your kernel.

The time of CPU-intensive processing the geek fills with sex.

Yes, all of it.

wrong screen? (1)

johnnyringo (202714) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115861)

Looks like they have a picture of an earlier screen, and not the current design they alluded to in the article?

"The anodized aluminum material from which it's made has the added advantage of light weight, so it can be tilted with little more than a nudge.

yet the image shows the plastic, 3 footed version...

just curious.

Design is never as easy as it looks ... (4, Interesting)

JumpingBull (551722) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115877)

Partly because it isn't a sequential process, partly because it shows up in many different guises, and partly because it just is plain hard! The hardest part is making the design just disappear, so that the program, device or object "just works". Some references are "Design for the real world" by Victor Papanek, and "Critical Path" by Buckminster Fuller.

Getting something to the point of "just working" takes time. The article mentions where a lot of the historical basis of the design elements come in. As an example, the Bauhaus school, which has rectilinear, minimialist lines, could not be confused with the Art Deco period, which has sweeping, organic lines modeled on natural plants. And either would not be confused with the organic shapes in a science fiction show, like Lexx. A designer knows the cultural associations, and cannily manipulates those to frame his message.

Further, they are semi-conscious to the observer. The art of design consists of either fading into the woodwork so that the elements are almost not noticed (save for a feeling of "rightness") or having one element out of place so as to attract attention, but avoiding the over the top kitch. Once these associations are made, they become part of the cultural backdrop, and therefore more grist for the mill. Such is the magic of postmodernism.

As an available example, the book is a cultural artifact; it is 2000 or more years old, and has a standard form that has been finessed for all those years. The design principles of typography are still a fertile area for exploration. O'Reilly has a colophon, how each book was made. For utilitatian subjects, they sure do put a lot of thought into presentation. A reference to typography is "Design Principles for Desktop Publishers" by Tom Lichty. He has a number of cited references inside that are worth checking out. Another one is "Desktop Publishing for Dummies". Your bookshelf has a number of other examples...
And that is just one artifact. When you add electronics ...

What I am impressed with is the obsession to detail that carries over not just from the look of the piece, but the ability to manufacture it easily as well. I guess that is what separates stellar performers from hack wanna-be's. But that implies that not only does Apple have great industrial designers, but they have a culture that seems to avoid the "fling it over the cube" mentality.

But the real interest comes in knowing how to make this cultural leap, the business design principles. Rest assured, the design principles that can get you a stellar organization are closely guarded strategic secrets. However, is it just me, but have they not been in the open all along? And perhaps lost in the corporatist instrumentalist model so lovingly rendered in Machiavelli's "the Prince" and "the Discourses"?

Is he good - or just controversial? (2, Interesting)

sloth jr (88200) | more than 7 years ago | (#16115913)

Seriously. Many of his products seem to engender a love-hate relationship - either you really HATE the design, or you think it's amazingly cool. With such extremes, debate and dialogue is natural - and talking about a product is corporate PR nirvana, is it not? And here I'm going to do just that.

With the exception of the original iMac, I haven't been that wowed by Jonathan's minimalist approach - sometimes, because it seems he's shooting for minimal controls but not for minimal real estate. For example, consider the PowerBook 17" waste of keyboard space - why not tack on a numeric keypad and shift the speakers to left and right of the trackpad? Because it disturbs some sense of symmetry? I dunno....

Then the new iMac... ugh. That huge white space below the monitor (speakers???? anything???), and because of side placement of CD/DVD, inability of the unit to be placed within narrow enclosures... am I out-of-step here with the general design sensibilities of society? Do people genuinely love the iMac's design? If so - honestly, why?

sloth jr

Re:Is he good - or just controversial? (1)

dafing (753481) | more than 7 years ago | (#16116034)

ill take this one. I am a windows user (mainly) who wants a mac but is saving for his first car and then going to get a mac. It helps keep me off when i know that they are getting so much better, more so than they should, at the mo, ie, from ppc to intel, and then core2.... if they just had 64bit dual cores in the first place... anyway.

Imagine the 17 inch Powerbook G4. NOT THE MACBOOK PRO DAMMIT, the Powerbook. imagine that space with a WHOLE new keypad hurled in. and then, i dunno, a middle speaker down the bottom, for a sub? what else do you want to clutter the hell out of it with? i remember old pcs had all those lines etc on the front, as a "design", yet they would have looked better completely smooth. there was too much going on it would have looked yuck. as for the imac, i love how its on the side, if you want one at the front theres the G4, or G3. Its very "in" having that wonderful looking space.

Re:Is he good - or just controversial? (2, Insightful)

emudoug42 (977380) | more than 7 years ago | (#16116204)

if they did that the keyboard would be off-center, and that would drive you insane after a short period. as for the new imac, well, i imagine speakers wouldn't fit there, and there's not too much point in adding something there just for the sake of it being there

Re:Is he good - or just controversial? (1)

Rob_Bryerton (606093) | more than 7 years ago | (#16116308)

am I out-of-step here with the general design sensibilities of society?

Yes

Do people genuinely love the iMac's design?

Yes

If so - honestly, why?

Because it's a sweet, compact design. IOW, you apparently have bad taste.

fro5t pist (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16116048)

Out of BusIness

Emotional Design. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16116114)

"'We began to call it having Jony-ness, an extra something that would tap into the product's underlying emotion.'"

Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things [amazon.com]


Techno author Norman, a professor of computer science and cofounder of a consulting firm that promotes human-centered products, extends the range of his earlier work, The Design of Everyday Things, to include the role emotion plays in consumer purchases. According to Norman, human decision making is dependent on both conscious cognition and affect (conscious or subconscious emotion). This combination is why, for example, a beautiful set of old mechanical drawing instruments greatly appealed to Norman and a colleague: they evoked nostalgia (emotion), even though they both knew the tools were not practical to use (cognition). Human reaction to design exists on three levels: visceral (appearance), behavioral (how the item performs) and reflective. The reflective dimension is what the product evokes in the user in terms of self-image or individual satisfaction. Norman's analysis of the design elements in products such as automobiles, watches and computers will pique the interest of many readers, not just those in the design or technology fields. He explores how music and sound both contribute negatively or positively to the design of electronic equipment, like the ring of a cell phone or beeps ("Engineers wanted to signal that some operation had been done.... The result is that all of our equipment beeps at us"). Norman's theories about how robots (referred to here as emotional machines) will interact with humans and the important jobs they will perform are intriguing, but weigh down an already complex text.

Alright own up,,, (0, Flamebait)

theneb (732287) | more than 7 years ago | (#16116188)

...how many of you apple loving whores started beatin off to the slide show?

fuck+Er (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16116210)

lead to 'clea8er [goat.cx]
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