Apple has always been proud of the fact that it’s an American company and more specifically, a major force in the growth of Silicon Valley that for decades has been and still remains the EPICENTER of all things tech. This ad helps reinforce the idea that Silicon Valley is not going away and in fact will continue to be a major tech design center well into the future.
If you look on the backside of an iPhone you will see
Designed by Apple in California
and it’s not only the design made by Apple’s Industrial Design Group (IDg), it’s everything, hardware, operating systems, software, and services.
Many big companies are diversified and cover lots of completely different markets. Apple doesn’t, the company focusses on a straightforward set of products and services with a clearly defined target: Bring it all together.
Following Steve Jobs and Tim Cooks philosophy to offer the best products it’s obvious that product design also has to be outstanding.
No other company presents it’s products on their websites like Apple.
See these high-resolution images of the new iPhone 5S which show quality, simplicity, durability, and functionality. And btw, other companies shouldn’t do this because of a much lower quality of materials and in many cases a simple product design which lures nobody into the cinemas. The key to high-quality design is a simple shape, the interaction of shape and material, the avoidance of bells and whistles, and a strong focus on functionality to seamlessly use the product.
See this comparison of Apple’s and Samsung’s website both presenting their flagships for the smartphone market.
A more detailed view on a single product shows the differences between hardware and entity oriented ad. Samsung manufactures hardware but gets the operating system from Google. So it’s ad focusses just on the hardware not mentioning the Android operating system but placing a photo on the screen with no relation to the product.
A more detailed view on the website of Apple where we can see a choreography of product images with well-worded subtitles.
And there’s more. Searching for images of Samsung devices as high-resolution images on Samsung’s website was unsuccessful. Maybe it’s why these kind of images would show the lacks in product quality.
What we find when analyzing Apple’s websites are basic principles of web design.
Basically, users’ habits on the Web aren’t that different from customers’ habits in a store. Visitors glance at each new page, scan some of the text, and click on the first link that catches their interest or vaguely resembles the thing they’re looking for. In fact, there are large parts of the page they don’t even look at.
Users don’t read, they scan
Notice how “hot” areas abrupt in the middle of sentences. This is typical for the scanning process.
Web users are impatient and insist on instant gratification. Very simple principle: If a web-site isn’t able to meet users’ expectations, then designer failed to get his job done properly and the company looses money. The higher is the cognitive load and the less intuitive is the navigation, the more willing are users to leave the web-site and search for alternatives. Apple reduces the information load to a minimum and focusses on presenting the product. The surfer’s eye is completely focussed on the product.
Users don’t make optimal choices
Users don’t search for the quickest way to find the information they’re looking for. They don’t scan websites in a linear way. They choose the first reasonable option. As soon as they find a link that seems like it might lead to the goal, there is a very good chance that it will be immediately clicked. Apple’s website smoothly brings the visitor from eye-catchers to the technical details.
Users follow their intuition
In most cases users muddle through instead of reading the information a designer has provided. According to Steve Krug, the basic reason for that is that users don’t care. “If we find something that works, we stick to it. It doesn’t matter to us if we understand how things work, as long as we can use them.”
Apple also supports that their DNA moves over to developers.
The Apple Design Awards is a special event hosted by Apple Inc. at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. The event is meant to recognize the best and most innovative Macintosh and iOS software and hardware produced by independent developers, as well as the best and most creative uses of Apple’s products. The ADAs, as they are commonly known, are awarded in a variety of categories which vary from year to year. The Apple Design Awards have been presented each year since 1996, though for the first two years of their existence they were known as the Human Interface Design Excellence (HIDE) Awards.
This mind map summarizes some facts, design highlights, and the engineers standing behind Apple’s design philosophy.
Feel free to download this mind map.
The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts HD for iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited.
In September 2013 Andrew Taylor (Boston Consulting Group) summarized:
“Companies that continually create value over the long term—meaning decades or more—learn how to ingrain the ability into their corporate makeup; it becomes part of their culture and DNA.They create value, jobs, and growth because of their ability to institutionalize innovation.”
Apple’s design is fully integrated in the company’s strategy and without bells and whistles. The focus is just on creativity, innovation, and producing cutting-edge technology.
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