Notes On Apple’s New ‘Mothership’ Campus

This is an insightful cover article on Apple’s new headquarters by Steven Levy (@stevenlevy) from the WIRED magazine. The campus was Steve Jobs’ dream and his finest design creation which has transformed into a futuristic architectural marvel today (and fondly identified as the ‘Ring’). Some quick notes from the write-up below.

  • The new campus was built according to Steve Jobs’ vision, he idealized California and based many of his ideas on his favorite features of the Bay Area in his youth. Jobs wanted to create a new campus ‘where the border between nature and building would be blurred’.
  • Steve Jobs dedicated a large amount of his last two years of life in the design of the building, where he would swoop down on the details he demanded and the meetings would often last 5-6 hours!

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Apple Is Changing User Behaviour, Not Just User Experience

The iPhone 7/Plus launched without the standard 3.5mm audio jack creating a storm on the Internet. The problem isn’t about the missing elements from a traditional user interaction perspective with a device such as the iPhone as it is about changing a user’s perception. It’s indeed very courageous of Apple to remove the audio jack completely replacing it with the lightning connector which means you cannot listen to music while charging (it’ll require a new $40 accessory). Simply put, we can’t charge AND listen to music or take calls simultaneously and we have to keep the iPhones charged. Suggesting that Apple wants the AirPods as your default hearing device regardless. Apple’s users have often had to reluctantly change the way they interact with devices based purely on how Apple defined its product line so ‘courageously’ and regardless of how frustrating it was. The astonished fans complained but eventually caved in. Now, this isn’t the first time that Apple has done something ‘courageous’ with its product line by removing a standard feature or software – the iPads didn’t support Adobe Flash (they still don’t even today), and yet if the sales numbers are correct the audience seems to have loved the iPad! From a product design standpoint with its power to innovate Apple really at the helm of changing user behaviour of this generation unquestionably. Perhaps Apple did contemplate the backlash of its decision to remove the 3.5mm audio jack from the iPhones and the ‘courageous’ comment from Phil Schiller is proof of defending itself from its perched place. So if there’s one product company which is going to affect our lives within the realm of technology and design innovation it’d be Apple.

Here’s Steve Jobs explaining ‘courage’ perfectly with Apple’s products.