LITTLE THINGS: THE KEY PILLAR IN APPLE DESIGN & INNOVATION
AppleMagazine|AppleMagazine #492
Apple’s design language has changed a great deal in recent years, away from the silvers and rounded edges towards a modern, industrialinspired design, as sported by the iPad Pro and iPhone 12.

That design language is set to be elevated this year with the introduction of new iMacs and MacBooks. Yet one thing has remained consistent throughout the transition: consistency. Over the years Apple has shown a keen eye for detail, ensuring the company’s portfolio stands out from the crowd, creating cutting-edge, ‘unmistakably Apple’ products.

DESIGN MATTERS

Apple has always taken design seriously, cementing the company’s position as one of the most well-known and instantly recognized in the world. Where other technology brands have piggybacked offof current trends - often taking a leaf out of Apple’s book - the Cupertino firm has stayed true to its routes throughout, regularly taking risks that almost always pay off. It all dates back to when Steve Jobs reigned supreme; he had a vision for designing products that not only looked clean and inviting but were simple - products should “just work”, he said.

In more recent times, with Tim Cook at the helm, Apple has veered offinto a number of new directions, and though some of its design choices have been questionable, including the infamous USB charging of the iMac Magic Mouse 2 continuing to frustrate professionals, Apple has largely been able to navigate its changing market position with great ease. Even when it ventured offinto new markets with the launch of the iPhone 5C, adopting a more basic design to cut down on costs and appeal to price-conscious consumers, the firm maintained a clear design from the beginning. From the consistency of sound across iOS, macOS, and tvOS through to the way the case for your AirPods snaps shut, there are so many design elements that are not only iconic but uniquely Apple, transforming the way we use devices.

The tactility of devices has always been a big deal at Apple - clean lines, premium materials, and packaging that’s designed to excite the senses has always been what the company is about. Let’s hark back to the AirPods case that effortlessly snaps shut when you’re finished using them. The same happens with the individual buds, which slip into place when you drop them into the slot - Jonathan Ive, Apple’s former design officer, was responsible for that. In an interview with GQ Magazine, he revealed that “There are color and form and the overall sort of architecture, but then those more difficultto-define and concept behaviors, like the noise of a click and the force of a magnet that draws something closed. I mean, for example, one of the things that we struggled with was the way that the case orients the AirPod as you put them in. I love those details, that you’ve had no idea how fabulously we got that wrong, for so long, as we were designing and developing it,” demonstrating that every aspect of an Apple design, including every single touchpoint, has been carefully crafted and considered.

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