As Gneo grew from an idea to an app, it gained a physical appearance that required decisions about design, functionality, and form. During those crucial times, Gneo creators looked to the influence of Apple Senior Vice President of Designer Jony Ive. Ive’s belief that “design defines so much of our experience” and that good design reflects a company’s care for the people it creates for resonated with Gneo.
As we continue our “Month of Influence” and give credit to those individuals who made Gneo what it is today, this week is dedicated to Jony Ive.
Heralded as Steve Jobs’ “spiritual partner” at Apple, Jony Ive was influential, if not integral, in the creation of the MacBook Pro, iMac, MacBook Air, Mac mini, iPod, iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, Apple Watch, and iOS 7. Yet before he was crafting history and channeling the direction of design at Apple, Ive was a kid from Chingford, London who liked to make things.
Ive’s father was silversmith and lecturer at Middlesex Polytechnic and his treasured yearly Christmas present was one day of time alone with him in his college workshop. It is not doubt that Ive’s belief in the relationship between design and caring stems from these collective afternoons when he says his father would simply help him “make whatever I dreamed up.”
A persistent desire to create led Ive to study industrial design at Newcastle Polytechnic and eventually to a career in product design upon graduation in 1989. Around the same time he began flirting with Apple products, finding them a welcome relief from the clunky, non-intuitive computer models of the day.
As he moved through the design world, Ive crafted products ranging from toothbrushes to microwaves. Yet his patience expired when a client rejected his bathroom designs for a toilet, bidet, and sink trio regarding them as “too costly” and “too modern.” In that moment, Ive knew that in order to do great work he needed to care greatly and work for clients he liked who possessed the same principles.
In 1992, he made the move the Apple and began to make history.
Gneo & Ive
Despite his vast accomplishments, Jony Ive is a man of great modesty and inherent simplicity, traits synonymous with his design. Ive claims that simplicity is about more than merely an absence of clutter; it is about bringing order to chaos. “Designing different things is easy,” Ive claims, “designing better things is difficult.”
As Gneo grew an appearance, this same ethos drove the self-control and simplicity in design. Everything needed to have a purpose and provide a good and valuable service to the user. Every button and position of button was agonized over and considered repeatedly. User experience and user interface were driven by stringent standards of simplicity coupled with effectiveness.
While technology can seem like the least likely place for compassion and caring, Gneo borrows from Jony Ive’s example that by designing great products we are designing a better world.
How can you create a better world through design?