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Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs by Ken Kocienda
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Creative Selection Quotes Showing 1-30 of 108
“At Apple, we never would have dreamed of doing that, and we never staged any A/ B tests for any of the software on the iPhone. When it came to choosing a color, we picked one. We used our good taste—and our knowledge of how to make software accessible to people with visual difficulties related to color perception—and we moved on.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“We always started small, with some inspiration. We made demos. We mixed in feedback. We listened to guidance from smart colleagues. We blended in variations. We honed our vision. We followed the initial demo with another and then another. We improved our demos in incremental steps. We evolved our work by slowly converging on better versions of the vision. Round after round of creative selection moved us step by step from the spark of an idea to a finished product.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“Taste is developing a refined sense of judgment and finding the balance that produces a pleasing and integrated whole.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“This points to the more general lesson I took from my WebKit editing work: People matter more than programming”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“We used the word “heuristics” to describe aspects of software development that tip toward the liberal arts. Its counterpart, “algorithms,” was its alter ego on the technical side. Heuristics and algorithms are like two sides of the same coin. Both are specific procedures for making software do what it does: taking input, applying an operation, and producing output. Yet each had a different purpose.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“Heuristics also have a measurement or value associated with them—the duration for an animation or the red-green-blue values for an onscreen color, but there isn’t a similar “arrow of improvement” that always points the same way. Unlike evaluating algorithms, heuristics are harder to nail down. For instance, how quickly should a scrolling list glide to a stop after you’ve flicked it? We always made demos to evaluate the possibilities.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“We used algorithms and heuristics like they were the left and right sides of our collective product development brain. Employing each involved an interplay of craft and taste, and we always tried to strike the correct balance. Algorithms and heuristics must coordinate to make a great high-tech product.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“it’s crucial to make the right call about whether to use an algorithm or a heuristic in a specific situation. This is why the Google experiment with forty-one shades of blue seems so foreign to me, accustomed as I am to the Apple approach. Google used an A/B test to make a color choice. It used a single predetermined value criterion and defined it like so: The best shade of blue is the one that people clicked most often in the test. This is an algorithm.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“I had succeeded in getting my colleagues invested in my insertion point behavior work, not just by asking for their help in a single meeting and saying thanks when it was finished but by demonstrating through my ongoing actions in code changes, demo reviews, and lunchtime chats that their advice had mattered to me. Getting the insertion point to behave correctly wasn’t just my project anymore. It was now our project.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“It was often difficult to decide where an algorithm should end and a heuristic should take over. It usually took us many design and programming iterations to evaluate all the relevant options. The best solutions were an accumulation of small decisions carefully weighed against each other as we sought to tame the complexity of so many compounding and overlapping factors.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“Why do some products, like the iPhone, turn out as well as they do? I’m now ready to offer my complete answer. It comes in three parts.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“The first part is the demo-making creative selection process.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“Whatever it was, the concrete and specific modifications we chose to make led to the actions items that justified making the next demo. Repeat, then repeat again. Doing this over and over again set our projects on the slow path to accumulating positive change. This is how we started with an idea and finished with software for a product.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“The second part of my answer goes back to the introduction, where I first mentioned the seven essential elements of the Apple development”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“Here’s the full list of the seven essential elements”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“Steve said: “I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.”1”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“This brings me to the third part of my answer. After creative selection and the seven essential elements, we needed one more intersection to make great work: a combination of people and commitment.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“I liked the people on my new team, and sync was technically challenging, but very soon, I was miserable in my new job. Why? Mostly because I was unprepared for the change in my daily routine. I went from writing software every day to worrying about my team. My schedule was always full of meetings. I had to navigate cross-functional relationships with other teams related to sync, and that involved much more politicking than I was expecting or was used to. I hadn’t realized how much I relied on writing code to feel productive and happy. My programming skill suddenly didn’t matter, and I didn’t have an intuitive sense for what I needed to do to be successful as a manager. I had taken the job for the wrong reason. It was my poorly judged attempt to make up for the missed management opportunity on Safari.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“it took committed people to breathe life into these concepts and transform them into a culture.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“Today, on the day I’m writing this introduction, hundreds of millions of people will use these Apple products, and if you count the browsers on Windows and Google Android that use code based on the Safari browser I helped develop, then the number of daily users runs to well over a billion, perhaps it’s closer to two. Yet we never thought about such big numbers. We were too busy focusing on small details.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“I have identified seven elements essential to Apple’s software success: Inspiration: Thinking big ideas and imagining what might be possible Collaboration: Working together well with other people and seeking to combine your complementary strengths Craft: Applying skill to achieve high-quality results and always striving to do better Diligence: Doing the necessary grunt work and never resorting to shortcuts or half measures Decisiveness: Making tough choices and refusing to delay or procrastinate Taste: Developing a refined sense of judgment and finding the balance that produces a pleasing and integrated whole Empathy: Trying to see the world from other people’s perspectives and creating work that fits into their lives and adapts to their needs There weren’t any company handbooks describing these elements. Nobody outlined this list in a new-employee orientation. There weren’t any signs affixed to the walls of our Cupertino campus exhorting us to “Collaborate!” On the contrary, we felt, on an instinctive level, that imposing a fixed methodology might snuff out the innovation we were seeking. Therefore, our approach flowed from the work. This happened from the top down, stemming from the unquestioned authority and uncompromising vision of Steve Jobs, and it happened from the ground up, through the daily efforts of designers and programmers you’ve never heard of, people like me and my colleagues, some of whom I’ll tell you about.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“Steve was at the center of all the circles. When he was in sufficiently good health—he had returned only a couple months earlier from his second health-related leave of absence in five years—he made all the important product decisions. He used these demo reviews as his chief means of deciding how Apple software should look and feel and function.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“There was no exit from the tedium. We just had to keep going. Yet, every hour of monotony was a contribution to our porting strategy, and every file we went through was an opportunity to read and learn about our adopted source code. Slowly, day after day, week after week, we whittled down the list of files we still needed to build.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“Although Steve’s opinions and moods could be hard to anticipate, he was utterly predictable when it came to his passion for products. He wanted Apple products to be great, and he insisted on being involved in the process as it went along, to guide the development of the work through his reviews. That’s why I was waiting to show him my demo. He wanted to see my latest progress and then push the work toward his ideal with his feedback and suggestions.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“More generally, he was always trying to ensure the products were as intuitive and straightforward as possible, and he was willing to invest his own time, effort, and influence to see that they were.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“A small group of passionate, talented, imaginative, ingenious, ever-curious people built a work culture based on applying their inspiration and collaboration with diligence, craft, decisiveness, taste, and empathy and, through a lengthy progression of demo-feedback sessions, repeatedly tuned and optimized heuristics and algorithms, persisted through doubts and setbacks, selected the most promising bits of progress at every step, all with the goal of creating the best products possible.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“While the seven essential elements are a distillation of what we did on an everyday basis, they represent long-term discovery too. An important aspect of this book is the way we built our creative methods as a by-product of the work as we were doing it. As all of us pitched in to make our products, we developed our approach to creating great software. This was an evolution, an outgrowth of our deliberate attention to the task at hand while keeping our end goal in mind. We never waited around for brilliant flashes of insight that might solve problems in one swoop, and we had few actual Eureka! moments. Even in the two instances in my Apple career when I did experience a breakthrough—more about these later—there certainly was no nude streaking across the Apple campus like Archimedes supposedly did. Instead, we moved forward, as a group, in stepwise fashion, from problem to design to demo to shipping product, taking each promising concept and trying to come up with ways to make it better. We mixed together our seven essential elements, and we formulated “molecules” out of them, like mixing inspiration and decisiveness to create initial prototypes, or by combining collaboration, craft, and taste to give detailed feedback to a teammate, or when we blended diligence and empathy in our constant effort to make software people could use without pulling their hair out. As we did all this mixing and combining of our seven essential elements, we always added in a personal touch, a little piece of ourselves, an octessence, and by putting together our goals and ideas and efforts and elements and molecules and personal touches, we formed our approach, an approach I call creative selection.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“Edison didn’t dream up the idea of electric lighting on his own, and carbon had been used in lightbulb filament investigations long before Edison started looking into its suitability—Joseph Swan experimented with carbon extensively. Yet such predecessors failed to create a practical lightbulb. Edison succeeded. Why? An adequate explanation must include Edison’s conception of electric lighting as a complex electric generation and distribution system, his already-established track record as an inventor, his ability to parlay his reputation into the necessary corporate funding for his investigations, and his vision to establish and lead one of the first product-oriented research and development labs, an organization that efficiently coordinated the efforts of many.5”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“I think Edison’s large-scale success was built on a foundation of tending to small details. I would like to turn the discussion back to how Edison himself described his approach for constructing the foundations for his innovative work, specifically, how he solved problems like finding the best filament material for his lightbulb: “None of my inventions came by accident. I see a worthwhile need to be met and I make trial after trial until it comes. What it boils down to is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration.”6”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
“For Edison, it was more important to build on promising ideas and keep working and working until an invention was made real.”
Ken Kocienda, Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs

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