He acquired “a natural understanding that everything here” — highways, bridges, Toyotas — “is made, and is the consequence of multiple decisions.”
This quote from the massive New Yorker profile of Jony Ive and the Apple design team confirms something I already knew about him because it’s something I’ve come to recognize in every designer I admire: acting upon the knowledge that everything touched by people is designed. I’d like to think game recognize game, as it were.
I’ve long held that this mindset is a prerequisite for being a professional designer. After reading this profile, I’m thinking about it as perhaps the primary criterion through which I filter designers.
Were I to interview a junior designer for a job, I’d ask them to talk about how they chose colors, typefaces, and materials.
If I were going to interview a senior designer, I’d ask them to talk about how the colors, typefaces, and materials they chose affected the usability and functionality of the product.
If I were going to interview a design leader, I’d ask them to talk about every decision they’ve made today and their consequences.
Also: my favorite quote about Ive from this profile is from Laurene Powell Jobs: “Really, if you ever need buttons for things designed, for doors or lights, you should just stay in touch with him.”