Jony Ive on How Product Naming Influences Design Philosophy

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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

slicecom Avatar
103 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)
komodrone Avatar
103 months ago
when I think of iPads, I think of futuristic female toiletries
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tkermit Avatar
103 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)
notjustjay Avatar
103 months ago

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

Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TMar Avatar
103 months ago
OMG Apple is going to make a lunchbox... The iBox! Front page tomorrow.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sshhoott Avatar
103 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)

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