Jony Ive on How Product Naming Influences Design Philosophy

by

jonathan_iveJust a couple days after a clip of Jony Ive's appearance on BBC's Blue Peter was revealed, journalist Tom Davenport (via CNET) says he's found an insightful portion of the clip that was cut out. In the new segment, Ive talks about how product naming philosophy can affect the design process.

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.

As mentioned previously, Ive was a fan of Blue Peter while he was growing up and talks about a design he saw on the show that's stuck with him over the years. This is just another look at Ive's design process, which he's started talking about more and more over the years as Apple's profile has risen and as Ive and his team have received more accolades, which includes his knighting last May.


Last October, Ive was promoted to head of the Human Interface team and is playing the Steve Jobs role at the company. Former Apple employee Loren Brichter, who went on to create iOS game Letterpress, had said he was excited about Ive's new role because of how he could possibly apply his design philosophy to iOS.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
100 months ago

I'd buy one of those. And a mini version.


You're stupid if you buy 1st gen. Wait for the retina iBox.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
100 months ago
when I think of iPads, I think of futuristic female toiletries
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
100 months ago

"iTunes"

Your app for managing and backing up your smartphone contacts and apps, sync all your photos, and download e-books.

"iPhone"

The device you use to browse the web, access social networks, send text messages to your friends, check the weather, play games, tether your computer...


I think his point is rather more subtle than how you should name your products. As I understood him, he suggests being careful what words you use in the design process so as to not get caught up in predefined notions of what certain words represent. You still might end up calling your end product the "magical lunch box" even if it looks like no lunch box you've ever seen, just as you might end up calling your hand held touchscreen computer a "phone".

Don't know if it's the best example in this context, but I'm kind of reminded of some of the early hard-drive based MP3 players right around the time the first iPod was released, that looked like portable CD players for some reason:
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
100 months ago

I'd buy one of those. And a mini version.

Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
100 months ago
OMG Apple is going to make a lunchbox... The iBox! Front page tomorrow.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
100 months ago
Just this video shows how much thought Jony puts into design. Critics can say that Apple is loosing its ground in OS X or iOS is becoming dated. But design is the only thing about Apple that has never been criticized. That's how good it is. Jony is Apple's greatest remaining soul.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Pro Demand Higher Than Expected

Sunday October 18, 2020 10:39 pm PDT by
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note this morning detailing what he's seen with the volume of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders in the first weekend of sales. Kuo had previously indicated that Apple's estimated shipment allocations for the new iPhone models placed the iPhone 12 at the top with 40-45% of inventory allocation (up from 15-20%). However, ...

Apple Releases iPadOS and iOS 14.1 With Multiple Bug Fixes Ahead of iPhone 12 Launch

Tuesday October 20, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.1, the first major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 14 operating system updates that were released in September. iOS and iPadOS 14.1 come a week after Apple released the golden master versions of the updates to developers. The iOS 14.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access...

Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Charger for iPhone 12

Monday October 19, 2020 11:54 am PDT by
Alongside the new iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a MagSafe charger that attaches to the back of the iPhones using magnets embedded both in the charger and in the iPhone. It allows for speedier charging and paves the way for a portless iPhone in the future. MagSafe chargers are shipping out and are in some Apple retail locations now, and we picked one up to check it out. Subscribe to the ...

Watch: iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Tuesday October 20, 2020 6:05 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro reviews. In addition to our detailed review roundups for each device, we've rounded up over a dozen unboxing videos and first impressions below. iPhone 12 in Blue on left and iPhone 12 Pro in Pacific Blue on right via Engadget Key new features of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro include a flat-edge design, 5G support, a much faster A14 ...

Some Apple Watch SE Owners Experiencing Issues With Overheating [Updated]

Monday October 19, 2020 11:38 am PDT by
There may be an issue with the new Apple Watch SE, which some users have found is overheating after a few hours of usage. Several Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea have run into problems, as noted in a Reddit post chronicling the complaints. There have been six reports from Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea who have had their Apple Watches get hot and malfunction, with a yellow spot...

Gold Version of iPhone 12 Pro Apparently Has a More Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel Frame

Tuesday October 20, 2020 11:56 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro reviews hit the web today, and one of the more interesting tidbits came from TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino, who revealed that the Gold version of the device apparently has a more fingerprint resistant coating applied to the stainless steel frame. From his review:Most of the iPhone 12 Pro finishes still use a physical vapor deposition process for edge coating. But the new gold...

iPhone 12 Pro Max Has Smaller 3,687 mAh Battery According to Regulatory Filing

Tuesday October 20, 2020 8:48 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro Max is equipped with a 3,687 mAh battery, which is around 7% less capacity than the 3,969 mAh battery in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, according to a regulatory filing published by TENAA, the Chinese equivalent of the FCC. The regulatory filing, spotted by MacRumors, also lists the iPhone 12 Pro Max with 6GB of RAM as seen in benchmark results last week. Apple has filed ...

Hands-On With Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro MagSafe Cases

Tuesday October 20, 2020 1:33 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are launching this Friday, and ahead of that release date, Apple is shipping out various accessories like the MagSafe charger and MagSafe cases. Yesterday we took a look at the MagSafe charger, and today our MagSafe case came in the mail, so we thought we'd take another look at the charger to see how it works with the case and just how strong the case magnets are. S ...