ContactAboutPortfolioTop Post

Tom Davenport

Tom Davenport is a creative digital marketer who develops content and digital experiences for brands.

  • February 18, 2013 3:02 pm

    Jonathan Ive on on how Apple names its products

    I’ve found an extra clip from Jonathan Ive’s appearance on beloved British children’s programme Blue Peter, which you can see below.

    He discusses how Apple approaches naming new products, and the psychological effect that those names can have on the design process. Barney asks how Ive would approach designing a lunchbox. His reply:

    "If we’re thinking of lunchbox, we’d be really careful about not having the word ‘box’ already give you  bunch of ideas that could be quite narrow. You think of a box being a square, and like a cube. And so we’re quite careful with the words we use, because those can determine the path that you go down."

    I found it on the iPlayer stream of the original blue Peter episode. It looks like the official BBC clip which did the rounds on mac news sites last week was an edited version which cut this out. A shame really, because this was the most insightful part, though I thought it was great to see how humble Ive was while being presented with his gold Blue Peter badge.

    Here’s the full original segment where Ive gives extra feedback on work submitted by young designers:

    Notice how Ive reacts to a design with a smart wristwatch… perhaps one day his smile will prove telling.

  • July 31, 2012 6:58 pm

    Ignore Ive. In 2008, Apple said it’s in this for the money

    Jonathan Ive is widely credited with being the design genius who helped turn Apple’s fortunes around in the late 1990s. 

    As a propagandist, he’s underrated.

    Today Wired UK posted comments from Ive on how Apple’s goal is not to make money, but to make good products. This would only be a fair comment for a design-centric company like Apple to make if it hadn’t explicitly gone on record to say the opposite.

    In 2008 music publishers were pressing for a 66% increase in digital royalty rates. Eddy Cue promptly stamped out their collective effort with this comment:

    "If the [iTunes music store] was forced to absorb any increase in the … royalty rate, the result would be to significantly increase the likelihood of the store operating at a financial loss - which is no alternative at all. Apple has repeatedly made it clear that it is in this business to make money, and most likely would not continue to operate [the iTunes music store] if it were no longer possible to do so profitably.”

    You could argue that Cue was specifically talking about why Apple was in the music business rather than discussing it’s wider product line. But then you’d have to swear to never to mention how Apple’s software and hardware is a tightly integrated product.

    Sometimes I wonder if Ive has become just another product to wheel out as part Apple’s propaganda machine, but he’s running the risk of becoming a parody. I hope not, because nothing could be worse for Apple than seeing its poster boy fall so far from grace.