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Apple Could Face Design Conundrum Following Jony Ive’s Departure
By Izza Sofia, 01 Jul 2019
Apple recently announced that its chief design officer Jony Ive was bidding adieu to the company after nearly 30 years.
Ive, who was responsible for the sleek and minimal designs of the iPhone, iPad and iMac, is opening his own design firm, called LoveFrom, and Apple is said to be one of his main clients.
While Apple appears optimistic about its future, Ive’s departure has raised concerns within the tech industry about the company’s outlook.
Apple says that it will not be hiring a new design officer to fill Ive’s role. Instead, its design team leaders—vice president of industrial design Evans Hankey and vice president of human interface design Alan Dye—will be reporting to Apple’s chief operating officer Jeff Williams. This sets alarm bells ringing, according to tech critic John Gruber.
The major change means that the company’s design department will no longer have the autonomy to make its own decisions, he points out. Hankey and Dye will be presenting their ideas to senior c-level executive Jeff Williams, whose forte is not in design.
The idea of Apple’s designers reporting to the operations team makes Gruber feel “queasy,” as it seems to be against Apple’s design-led ethos.
Gruber adds in a blog post that the Chief Design Officer position shouldn’t be a “one-off title” created exclusively for Ive, but a permanent position in Apple.
An individual of the right qualifications should be in charge of the design team, he suggests, rather than the department letting operations finalize its decisions. Not having someone to take over Ive’s role could result in a power struggle likely visible in Apple’s future products.
# of patents held— Jon Erlichman (@JonErlichman) June 27, 2019
by Jony Ive: +5,000
# of patents held
by Thomas Edison: 2,332 pic.twitter.com/1OkYX8u1P3
[via Independent, opening image via Apple]
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