The day before yesterday, there was a brief lecture on innovation in product design given by Doug Field, VP of Product Design for Apple, Inc. I would like to get some information about product design and user experience design. However, the lecture was so short and he didn’t talk much about designing. Even he refused to answer any questions about iPhone 5. Instead, Doug talked a lot of things about his dream, his career and his belief. He praised Darwin and quoted the quotation of the Darwin many times, “the survival of the fittest” and “nature is a designer”. He said that Organisms should produce more offspring than actually survive. So don’t fear failure because failure is necessary for progress. You can pile up lots of failures and still keep rolling. Hold out and you will succeed in time.
While Doug was showing slides, from his lively face and moving hands, I felt a strong sense of his love and belonging. “What do you love to do?”“What do you believe?” “What is your hobby”. He was showing us how to create aspirations and sell dreams! What an Apple style! As Steve Jobs said:
You’ve got to find what you love and that is as true for work as it is for lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you’ve found it.
Do what you love and love what you do, then it will be a great work. In one word, passion is everything. This is the Steve Rules of Success. This is also what I learned from the lecture. Jobs gave the people around the world a compelling reason to own his creation and in turn the world gave him a huge aspiration and respect. I’m sure almost everyone wishes to have one Apple product one day. That’s the power of Apple and the power of dream. Here I would like to share Jobs’ greatest legacy. I think it is the set of principles that drove his success. Here is four principles we can adopt in our jobs.
1. Follow your heart and intuition.
Jobs once said: Know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. Do what you feel passionate about and it really, really matters. We spend most of our day on work. If it doesn’t arouse or excite feelings, passions and vibes, how can our products stir up people’s interest in them. Time is limited. Don’t waste your time on blah and uninspired things. Take courage to follow your heart and intuition.
2. Say no to 1,000 things.
Jobs believes that a good product comes from saying no to 1,000 things. This is a powerful thought from Steve Jobs. In the lecture, Doug also stressed that we should do the best things in life. Everyday we are tossed such numerous directions doing too many things that forget to do the best one. Often, I find myself very very busy in trying different things and never think about saying “no”. Few effects to achieve. I must learn how to select the best from all the stuff and then concentrate on it.
3. Create a need for the product.
Jobs said that, you can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new. It seems to differ from the points in our UX books and other design textbooks which stress the importance of understanding the needs of users. However, another Steve’s words may explain this, It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. According to him, every user wants to own something but does not know what he or she really wants. Just like I know that some products satisfy me while others only frustrate me but I can’t exactly tell why. Maybe it is just my feeling and intuition. However, when I learned the principles of cognitive psychology, it suddenly hits me. Awesome! That’s actually what I want! It makes me aware of anything.
So I think the reason why Steve is the master of all is that he can capture the need in users’ deep heart and create a good product which differentiating it very well with other products and connecting with the users’ minds. In fact, the process of creating a need is selecting the best need and making the users recognizing that. Their need is there! Find it! Give users a compelling reason to vibe their feeling and buy your product.
Another question arises here. How to create that compelling reason? Well, I think the answer is to do user-centered design for the product. We should focus on ideas rather than tools or techniques. This is what I am seeking hard in my CGT 512 class. I need to get the best knowledge from my book and come back to time and time again for inspiration and insight. I am still on the road.
4. Sell dreams, not products.
The dream is not only Jobs’ but also ours. Steve Jobs really understood users and captured our imagination, then presented it on a small button in iPhone or iPad tablet. It seems so easy. As Steve Jobs said, dream bigger, be care about users themselves and believe in yourself. Act at once and you can make it reality and succeed.