This is something that applies not only to the digital world, but more and more to the physical world, and rightfully so.
To be truly great in the world of product design, you need to transcend the mere object, and be an experience designer. Think about how your product will weave its way into the life of the person who adopts it.
A great man once said of the design process:
“When you start looking at a problem and it seems really simple, you don’t really understand the complexity of the problem. Then you get into the problem, and you see that it’s really complicated, and you come up with all these convoluted solutions. That’s sort of the middle, and that’s where most people stop…
But the really great person will keep on going and find the key, the underlying principle of the problem—and come up with an elegant, really beautiful solution that works.
That’s what we wanted to do with Mac.”
—from Insanely Great, written by Steven Levy
Steve Jobs wasn’t talking about the ipod or even the iphone here, he said this in 1984. This kind of thinking demonstrates the common thread within Apple that has allowed them to conceive of and execute products that become quietly indespensible, both on an individual and cultural level.
This article by user experience demi-god Peter Merholz expands beautifully on the above.
Filed under: User Experience on April 25th, 2008