We need to stop thinking about want and start thinking about need.
There’s a course at Apple’s internal university called “What Makes Apple, Apple”. Last year the tutor showed a slide of the remote control for the Google TV. The remote has 78 buttons. Then the tutor displayed a photo of the Apple TV remote, a thin piece of metal with just three buttons.
How did Apple’s designers decide on three buttons? They started out with an idea, and debated until they had just what was needed — a button to play and pause a video, a button to select something to watch, and another to go to the main menu.
The Google TV remote serves as a counterexample; it had so many buttons because the individual engineers and designers who worked on the project all got what they wanted. But, Apple’s designers concluded, only three were needed.
Adapted from ‘Inside Apple’s Internal Training Programme‘, first published in The New York Times, August 2014.
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