How to guarantee mediocrity

Great line from Apple’s Jonathan Ive on the role (or not) of research in product development:

“we don’t do market research,” because “it will guarantee mediocrity and will only work out whether you are going to offend anyone.”

Testing, listening and optimising is great. Blanding out ideas so as not to upset anyone, or using research to cover your arse isn’t.

Steve Jobs’ other big presentation this week

After the hoopla of WWDC, it’s an interesting counterpoint to see Steve Jobs in a more regular business presentation – this one to the local Cupertino council about their proposed new campus.

The natural salesman in Steve shines through, and he outlines the benefits simply and passionately. Proof that any material can be made compelling.

It’s also another testament to Apple’s unhindered visions – they’re not just getting a new campus, but taking a shot at making the best office building in the world

via macrumors

Natural design v engineering tension

Fascinating post from former design chief at Nokia, laying bare his frustrations at innovating in a mega corporation. Alongside some eye-popping comments, this stood out as something to be wary of, yet embraced and made useful:

“Designers are also, by training and predilection, inclined to design for the usual, where engineers are taught a kind of rigor that compels them to account for, and overweight, low-probability events.”

Ten principles of good design

This list of Dieter Rams design principles is eternal. I expect that the work of Apple’s Jonathan Ive would stand up well to this test. Picture the iMac/iPod/iPhone as you read down it.

I’m reminded of that wonderful aphorism about design being complete not when there’s nothing left to add, but when there’s nothing left to take away.

Vitsœ’s designer, Dieter Rams. Photograph by Abisag Tüllmann