Home > Rant > A lot of what we seem to be doing is actually getting design out of the way

A lot of what we seem to be doing is actually getting design out of the way

January 6th, 2011

The full quote from Jonathan Ive, Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple: “A lot of what we seem to be doing in a product like that [the iPhone] is actually getting design out of the way. And I think when phones develop with that sort of reason and theyre not arbitrary shapes, it feels almost un-designed.” (emphasis added

I never considered this before I started my career in maintenance, but I’m really getting adamant about it. Design is bullshit. Every time I see some article or blog or talking head running off about fucking design I want to strangle them. It’s just so much ego that makes shit hard for people to actually work with. Just make shit that works, make shit that’s easy for people to work with and (especially) work on and get your God damned ego out of the process.

Let’s look at the iPhone. I’ll use my 3GS as an example because it’s sitting right here on the table next to my keyboard. It’s a piece of glass with plastic on the back and a little ring of, I dunno something shiny. Design ended, thank you very much. It wasn’t intended to look cool, it was intended to not poke me in the junk when it’s in my pocket. Which is where any cell phone (any guy’s cell phone, anyway) is most of the time. Good design.

Let’s look at a piece of shit like this:
Stupid fucking sink

I want to hurt so bad whatever asshole thought of sinks like this. The hotel that was my last job had sinks kinda like this in the guest rooms and they were fucking horrible. What is a sink meant to do? Contain water. That’s its job, its entire reason for being. You put water into the sink and it stays in the sink. Does that happen with this sink? Probably not. The sinks at that hotel were less stylized but the same concept. Put a big porcelain bowl on top of the counter so water splashes all over the crotch of anyone who tries to use it. Way to go designer, you fail usability forever. That’s just the user, I’m not even going to get (too far) into what something like this does to the poor bastard responsible for maintaining it. On a sink like this you can see the grout that keeps water from seeping through the counter. Any time you can see grout it’s gonna get ugly. Pink is about the best you can hope for but really black is more likely. Pretty nasty.

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