I usually try to write fairly in-depth posts, but came across this blog post from John Gruber today that made a point that I find myself constantly trying to make, so I wanted to re-post it real quick.
He writes about how Walter Isaacson misrepresents design as how a product looks and feels instead of understanding what it’s really about — how a product works:
Isaacson clearly believes that design is merely how a product looks and feels, and that “engineering” is how it actually works.
Jobs, in an interview with Rob Walker for his terrific 2003 New York Times Magazine profile on the creation of the iPod, said:
“Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer — that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
"Design" is so core to what Apple is and why it’s so successful that I’m glad Gruber corrects this distinction. It’s unfortunate that so many people assume, as Isaacson did, that design is fluff (or veneer as Jobs puts it).
User Interface design and User Experience design should be so intertwined that you never consider one without the other. And therefore, clearly, design must be at the crux of every product…otherwise, what’s the point?