Design Matters (even more than you think!)

Following the last article, I want to present a case where the importance of design and user experience is incredibly evident.

In the long gone year of 1997, Apple was in ruins, a mere shadow of the company that Steve Jobs founded and led to greatness before being fired. Apple lost its focus in the absence of its visionary, and when Jobs returned many thought that the company was doomed to fail, loosing money, technological advantage, and market share with each yearly quarter.

But, if that was true from a technological or even business perspective, in Steve’s mind the situation was clearly different: Apple was failing not because of any disadvantage in the numbers, but because it had lost its vision – after all it had fired him, and the man was Apple’s vision.

So when he got hold of the company again he focused not on processor speeds, amounts of ram or hard drive space, or monitor sizes, but on design and usability, on creating a computer that he, as a user, would love to use. And thus the iMac was born, and it was a success. And soon followed the iPod, the Macbook, and lots of other, in Steve’s words, insanely great products.

And the lesson here was that they were not insanely great because of some number of chips (although they obviously handled their technological parts pretty well) but because they were insanely fun to use and insanely simple and productive.

Because they were insanely well designed.

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