Creative Selection – Ken Kocienda
Inside Apple’s Design Methodology During the Steve Jobs Era.
Software engineer Ken Kocienda, the author, worked on the first iPhone, among other projects.
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The author discusses Apple’s software development process and why, in his opinion, it was a key factor in the company’s ability to produce products of the highest caliber.
The crucial components in apple development approach: part 1
- Inspiration: Big-picture thinking and envisioning the potential are sources of inspiration.
- Collaboration: Effective teamwork with others.
- Craft: Using skill to produce high-quality results while continuously aiming to improve.
- Diligence: Always taking the long route and doing the dirty work.
The crucial components in apple development approach: part 2
- Decisiveness: Making difficult decisions and refusing to wait or put something off.
- Taste: Developing a finer sense of judgment and identifying the balance that results in an aesthetically pleasing, cohesive whole.
- Empathy: The attempt to understand the world from the viewpoints of others and the creation of content that is tailored to their needs and fits into their lives.
Not just a bug-free product, but something alive
The iPhone’s appeal was not the result of piling on features early in our project development schedule and then bug-squashing to make it problem-free. This routine process may aid in the creation of a good product, but it is not the key to creating a great one. Steve Jobs aimed to create a product that felt alive and close to the heart.
The value of good taste in holistic design
Taste is the development of a refined sense of judgment and the discovery of the balance that results in a gratifying and integrated whole.
The small-scale justifications must contribute to a larger scheme.
A product’s appearance should tell you what it is and how to use it. Objects should explain themselves.
Putting an end to creative effort
If you persist in making choices without justifying them for too long, your entire creative effort may become aimless. The outcome could be the sum of half-decisions.
Developing the judgment to avoid this pitfall focuses on a refined-like response, active evaluation, and finding the self-confidence to form gut opinions that you can also justify with your head.
Apple Stories: Safari
Page load speed was a major concern when developing Safari.
Steve demanded that the browser be fast, so the team was tasked with developing a set of automated tests that would launch the browser and have it load a series of web pages in succession before reporting the speed.
They soon had their “Page Load Test” (PLT) benchmark in place, ensuring that the product became “faster by never getting slower.”
A committed team
To do great work, you need a combination of people and dedication. Our most important product development ingredients were creative selection and the seven essential elements, but it took dedicated people to bring these concepts to life and transform them into a culture.