How Do Great Artists Simplify: Steve Jobs Macintosh
Steve Jobs believed that sometimes Simplicity could be more harder than Complexity. It was difficult to make something simple without reducing its functionality.
Eichler, was a company that built most of the homes in California during 1950 and 1974. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision of simple modern homes for the American “every man,” It envisioned building inexpensive houses featuring floor-to-ceiling glass walls, open floor plans, exposed post-and-beam construction, concrete slab doors, and lots of sliding glass doors. “Eichler did a great thing, His houses were smart and cheap and good. They brought clean design and simple taste to lower- income people. They had awesome little features, like radiant heating in the floors. You put carpet on them, and we had nice toasty floors when we were kids.” Jobs qouted this telling that Eichler homes instilled in him a passion for making nicely designed products for the mass market
And that could be seen almost all of it works. Like the original MAC logo was a pic of Newton sitting under Apple Tree. But then he wanted to make a simplified design he drew simple Apple with beautiful colors.
Apple when shifted its office outside Garage, it had Sony’s office next to it. Jobs would often invade into it to borrow a brochure. He wanted a industrial look with fine edges, perfect angles etc. He was the same in software, he could spend hours changing spaces and margins for different aspects.
When making the first iPhone. They had to get a on screen keyboard, and he would have things and colors changes happening daily. He would constantly ask to change the blue of this element or increase the length of space bar. That was somewhere hard wired into him.
And the #idea of simplicity with perfection remained there for long. He wanted to make things simple without loosing on functionality. And simplicity was seen in there clean looking brightly colored brochures and advertisments. He believed simplicity to be linked with ease lf using products also. And his Simple Perfectionism was when he made the iPhone keyboard easy to use, and took care small details.
Apple’s Brochures constantly featured “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” For example, he extolled the desktop metaphor he was creating for the Macintosh. “People know how to deal with a desktop intuitively. If you walk into an office, there are papers on the desk. The one on the top is the most important. People know how to switch priority. Part of the reason we model our computers on metaphors like the desktop is that we can leverage this experience people already have.”
Raskin had earlier envisioned the Mac to be portable, such that the display could be flipped over the keyboard and could be carried anywhere. Bust when Jobs took aware he gave up portability for better power and design.
Jobs wanted to make it like a classic car not a #Ferrari. A classic car never goes out of trend. He himself owned Porche 911, and admired its design, he wanted uts desugn to be simple, industrial and classic. He got the case for MAC made, and reiterated many times. With each unveiling of case, there was lot of excitment, but Steve Jobs always remained demanding more and more changes. By 4th iteration the visual difference between 2 versions was not very prominent, bust he could still find out need for small changes.
Bill Atkinson worked to optimize the software. The needed some workaround to draw circles with less computing power. The processor they were planning to use did not have capability to calculate squares of no.s to what he did was simple property of squares, calculating them by following a addition series. (for example, 1 + 3 = 4, 1 + 3 + 5 = 9, etc.).
Everyone loves the circles and ovals. But Jobs felt the beed to draw rounded rectangles which he felt unnecessary. #SteveJobs took him to walk, and showed him rounded edges here and there, the whiteboard had rounded edges, the cars, the windows of cars etc. all had rounded edges somewhere or other. He gave in and re #iterate the #software and newer version showed rounded edges also.
He took care of detail in things like calculator also. His Calculator once ready remained consistent for 12 years. Chris Espinosa was given the task to make calculator. And with each iteration came new criticisms. He would complain border to thick, or may be button to small or wrong background color. So finally one afternoon, when Jobs came by, Espinosa unveiled his inspired solution that was a builder with which he could play and fiddle around like toy: “The Steve Jobs Roll your Own Calculator Construction Set.”
And he played with it till he designed the perfect calculator with perfect spaces that did not required reiteration to it for next 12 years.
He had his perfection in curcuit boards also. He closely inspected the curcuit board of #Macintosh and he was suprizing happily looking at it when he noticed the memory chips to be placed too closely to each other, and practically they never impated but Steve Jobs reinstated amongst the engineers that he wanted it to be most #beautiful thing they could make. Even if no one would see it, Apple needed to have internal satisfaction that they had created a great product. He #believe creating anything could be a #art.