In a recent interview with TIME magazine, Appleâ€™s legendary head of design Jony Ive was quoted as saying this, when it comes to designing a new product:Â
Objects and their manufacture are inseparable. You understand a product if you understand how itâ€™s made. I want to know what things are for, how they work, what they can or should be made of, before I even begin to think what they should look like.
Exactly. This statement wholly captures my design attitude as I insert myself into a start-up context as the main, andâ€”for nowâ€”solo designer. For me to be a successful designer impacting the product (a web-based SaaS application for IT Admins) in a significant way, I canâ€™t simply jump to visual styles to beautifyâ€”as tempting as it may be! Iâ€™ve got to fundamentally understand the product purpose (why it exists and for whom it provides value), the product mechanics (how it all works, as a Big Data analytics tool for IT Datacenters) which means diving into some fairly demanding technical concepts around datacenter operations, and the product manufactureâ€”indeed, how it all gets coded up! What is the actual code construction process in terms of tools used and frameworks applied, for the front-end (like angular.js or CSS3) and back-end (leveraging AWS servers). The more complete my understanding of the product, then the more effective and influential I can be as a designer shaping a bonafide experience that respects the productâ€™s essence. And then…I can amplify the product to the next level via beautiful and rigorous design. Designing a software experience implies knowing how itâ€™s constructed, to have maximum impact.