Last week, legendary designer Jony Ive announced in an interview with the Financial Times that he was leaving Apple.
Ive is responsible for some of the most iconic product designs of the past twenty years, including versions of the iPod, iPhone, iMac and user interface elements of iOS. His departure marks yet another break from the Steve Jobs-era Apple.
The British-born Ive’s next step will be to run LoveFrom, an independent agency that will count Apple as one of its first clients, according to the Wall Street Journal.
It’s unclear exactly what LoveFrom will be working on. So with such a titan of the design world now a free agent, we asked some InVision staffers and Inside Design writers: What should Ive do next?
Aarron Walter, VP of Design Education
“I’d love to see Ive point his innovative talents to sustainable architecture to help us shift to energy-efficient, environmentally conscious living. I’d like to see Ive shift away from work that perpetuates mass consumption and instead enables mass conservation.”
Sarah Doody, Founder of UX Portfolio Formula, Inside Design contributor
“Jony Ive should spend a year traveling to immerse himself in the lives of people who don’t live in the coastal bubbles! We need more bright minds solving for bigger human needs, not novelties for the 1%. He should focus on a few issues and go out for a year on almost a research road trip to collect tons of ideas and inspiration. And let’s face it, the guy needs a break too! But as a designer, I bet it’s hard for him to turn off his research mind.”
Pablo Stanley, Lead Designer, InVision Studio Platform Team
“With his new company, I hope Jony will go the opposite route of the Apple way of doing things and design in the open. It would be great if Jony and his team shared their process, including all their misses and false starts.
With Apple, we only got to see the polished, finished product, and story. But design is messy, non-linear, and chaotic. I would love it if they shared the frustrations and pain they go through before they arrive at a final draft. Sharing this would show the human side of design and all those learning moments—it would help the community grow as a whole.”
Richard Banfield, VP, Design Transformation
“I’m pretty sure this guy needs some time off, so go do that first. When he gets back to work I’d love to see Jony share his wealth of knowledge with the young designers of the world that don’t have access to traditional Western education. Imagine how many undiscovered Jony Ive’s there are in Africa and some of the other developing parts of the world? Imagine how Jony could inspire and support a new generation of problem solvers and creators?”
Leah Buley, Director, Design Education
I can’t decide! There are too many interesting directions this could go. Jony Ive should…
• Write a tell-all expose that finally spills the dirt on Apple’s mysterious design process, sparing no unseemly details.
• Start a school to teach his design approach and pass on his legacy to the next generation of designers. Even better, he should make it exclusively for students with under-represented perspectives in design—designers of color, designers with disabilities, LGBTQ designers, designers from developing countries—so the next generation of products can reflect and serve a more diverse world.
• Apply his legendary industrial design skills to improving every day, neglected household objects: awkward bathroom snakes, ergonomically torturous portable infant car seats, power drills for people with weak arm strength… the list is endless.
• If all else fails, there’s always this: set up a station at the mall to fix cracked iPhone screens and trade in 18-month-old tech that has reached its moment of planned obsolescence.
Stephen Gates, Head Design Evangelist
“I would love to see Jony take a page from his friend and former co-worker Marc Newson and put his signature design approach on other categories that could use disruption, simplicity and a fresh approach. I would selfishly also like to see more companies use of the word aluminum (pronounced by Jony as “Al-u-min-ium) and hope that he can one day shoot a video in something other than the white room he was apparently been trapped in for 20+ years.”