Three years ago, we published a blog article that shed some light on the development of the iPhone. The motivation for writing the article was the fact that the iPhone was often used as reference when talking about usability goals and user interface design ideals and that design requests often could be roughly summed up as “Make it like the iPhone”. The blog article described of aspects of iPhone development that did not get the same publicity as the product and its user interface themselves. Those aspects were
- Apple’s complete control over design, manufacturing and marketing,
- a completely new operating system that had been created and
- the considerable effort in terms of time and money that had been invested in the project.
In the meantime, Apple has created several new versions of the iPhone and even included a completely new product in its portfolio: the iPad. After those success stories, it is no surprise that reference to “user interfaces like Apple” is still made. It is therefore appropriate to revisit the topic and add some insights regarding the “Apple design process” in general that have become known to a larger public, not least through the Steve Jobs biography. Such insights can prevent misguided approaches in which Apple-like results shall be reached without implementing a corresponding process.