Apple’s corporate shakeup made headlines the blogosphere over, though the results of this aren’t yet known. One of the most promising changes involves Jony Ive, formerly Apple’s lead industrial designer, taking over design across all of Apple’s products. Ive’s design work can be seen in nearly all of Apple’s products over the last decade, from the original iMac to the iPhone 5. With such a distinguished track record, it’s easy to see why many are excited about the coming application of Ive’s talents.
“I’m excited about Ive” taking over the Human Interface group at Apple, where he will lead both industrial design and the design of the software that runs on it. “He has good taste.” He paused. “But more important than good taste, he has the ability to” — he points to the MacBook Air in front of me — “he’s true to the materials, to the medium he’s working in. One of my complaints about design of iOS is it’s doing things that aren’t true to the hardware.”
“My design goals with Letterpress were to do things that the graphics hardware was really good at. [Ive] is the kind of person who has the same aesthetic. It’s not superficial — he’d think about [the design of iOS and an iOS device] all the way through” not just make something that looked good, he said.”
In other words, Brichter, a former Apple designer, believes that Ive will think through the design of a product and its software, and not just make it superfluously pretty (such as Apple’s Find My Friends app). In terms of skeumorphism, Brichter actually doesn’t believe that Apple will abandon it. He does, however, “hope they tone [the use of gaudy textures] down.”
It seems that Apple’s design language is about to change for the better. At the very least, Ive’s expertise in hardware design should translate to software in an interesting way.