Sir Jonathan Ive
Sir Jonathan Ive is Apple’s Chief Design Officer (CDO), and responsible for all design at Apple, including the look and feel of Apple hardware, user interfaces, packaging, major architectural projects such as Apple Park and Apple’s retail stores, as well as new ideas and future initiatives.
Since 1996, he has led Apple’s design team, which is widely regarded as one of the world’s best. He holds over 5,000 patents and has been recognized with numerous design awards, including the Design Museum London’s first Designer of the Year in 2003, the Design and Art Direction (D&AD) President’s Award in 2005 and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s Product Design Award in 2007. In 2012, D&AD named Ive and his team the Best Design Studio of the past 50 years.
I find Ive inspirational for a number of reasons...
Firstly, he ensures 'purity of design' remains at the heart of the business by ensuring the initial concept is not diluted during product development by committees or marketers.
Secondly, he has a focus on creating user experiences which are so profound they define the standard for new product sectors or create a fundamental step changes in existing product sectors. This is achieved by having a focus on the whole ecosystem, not just looking at components, but ensuring the absolute harmony between hardware, software, and even the environments in which the products are purchased and supported.
Finally, he champions ‘simplicity at the core’, hiding complexity for the sake of the user, as opposed to using complexity as a way of showing how hard it is; or in other words, making things easy for the user, not necessarily making things easy for the engineer. This results in creating truly intuitive experiences which enable people who have no background or interest in technology to use them without the need for any kind of tuition or training.
True simplicity is derived from so much more than just the absence of clutter and ornamentation. It's about bringing order to complexity.