“The first Macintosh. The titanium PowerBook. The iMac. The iPod. It’s easy to think of Apple’s major design triumphs. They’ve shifted our conceptions of how a computer should look and feel, and changed the way we interact with technology — and listen to music and connect with friends. Some innovations are small — like the trash icon or the placement of a trackpad. Apple makes wildly imaginative products with a consistency few companies rival,” Burt Helm reports for BusinessWeek.
“Of course, look beyond stunning breakthroughs, and you’ll see some equally dramatic flops: The Lisa, Apple’s first crack at an easy, user-friendly personal computer, tanked with its $10,000 price tag. Or the Newton, the first handheld, which debuted in 1993 and fell out of production in 1999,” Helm reports.
MacDailyNews Take: The Newton MessagePad 2100 is still the best PDA ever made.
Helm continues, “‘Idealism is a major part of Apple,’ says Andy Hertzfeld, an original Macintosh team member. ‘The company operates for artistic values rather than for commercial purposes.’ Apple’s products always start first as design vision — and then tackle its feasibility. As a result, sometimes the challenges can seem impossible. After the design is worked out, says Jory Bell, a designer who worked on several iterations of the PowerBook notebook computer series, ‘then you sign it off with Steve [Jobs]. Only after that is there negotiation over whether the laws of physics will actually allow [that vision] to happen.'”
Full article here.
BusinessWeek’s slideshow of several former Apple designers and engineers and their work here.
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iMac, iPod designer Jonathan Ive named ‘most influential person on British culture’ – February 12, 2004
Did Jonathan Ive ‘almost single-handedly’ save Apple? – September 19, 2003
What happens when Steve Jobs dies? – August 20, 2003