Every few years, another writer who hasn’t followed Apple’s design heritage for very long decides to figure out where it comes from and why it’s been such a success. And every few readers, they end up talking with people extremely tangential to the process who haven’t been involved for at least 9 years. The latest is poor Daniel Turner, writing for the MIT Technology Review:
But the omerta that prevails at Apple proved too strong. Company representatives declined to speak with me, and sources only tangentially engaged with the industrial-design process said that they could not talk either. When I asked Paul Kunkel, author of the 1997 book AppleDesign, for tips on obtaining interviews, he laughed and said, “Go sit outside the design-group offices with a pizza.” What follows is as clear a picture of the Apple design process as we could get.
Which is to say, very out of date and filled with speculation. Don’t get me wrong — I think this as good a job as anyone could do analyzing Apple’s design group without getting behind the veil, but it’s nothing new to anyone following Apple long-term. I think it’s particularly telling that the writer couldn’t even get someone from Frog that worked on Apple products in the 1980s to speak on the record. A designer with no Apple ties had to step up.
Give it a read, though: It’s worth it just for the shocking revelation that Steve Jobs just might have a major impact on the final design of the company’s products. Huh. Couldn’t have guessed that!
The Secret of Apple Design: Technology Review