Design Element
Comment on "Apple's Secret Ingredient"
by Josh Schoenwald — Sep 07
I think Derek and Blain said it best:

There need to be more Walt's & Steve's out there that know what the public wants and gives it to them.

More importantly, that those in Apple that have not programmed but designed toilet seats are listened to and are influential in the process.

The secret to Apple's success is not fearlessness or aptitude for following intuition, it's understanding "the how" of people on a very fundamental level. it's understanding how they work. how they play. how they listen to music. how they take photos, etc. and by understanding I mean on a cognitive level, not a functional level.

It's easy to say things like, 'Most people who use a digital camera do this." Or, "These are the most popular features of most music players." You have to go way beyond that to understand how people use these products in their lives. That is to say, understanding how people are coping with complexities, because these coping mechanisms will point to generic patterns which spell out what's necessary to be successtul with a design.

To put is simply, Apple understands how people work (play, etc), and designs products which are centered around that understanding. Blain's comment is right on the money in that not only does Apple have such ability, but the authority of someone high up in the company (the CEO, no less!) to make sure these values are upheld.
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