Apple is known for its attention to detail for its products. From the external design of a device to the shape of an icon on the Home Screen, the Apple design team vet every aspect of the product. In an exclusive interview with the Wallpaper, Evans Hankey, Apple’s VP of industrial design, and Alan Dye, VP of human interface design discussed the ethos of the company’s design process.
Hankey and Dye are close colleagues, confidants, and friends of Apple’s former design head, Jony Ive. After Ive’s departure from the company, the dup took the reins of the Design Team in 2019.
Apple design team believes the company’s aesthetics ethos sets it apart
For Apple’s late founder and CEO, Steve Jobs design was a significant part of the devices his company produced. Jobs and Ives designed great products which not only looked good but also functioned smoothly. Hankey and Dye are following the same footsteps of their visionary predecessors to deliver beautiful, yet environmentally friendly products.
Hankey and Dye are adamant that the team wouldn’t be what it was without the deep-rooted cultural bias towards design in Apple. ‘We care about making great products, but we’ve worked equally hard at making a great team and culture. A lot of that came from the beginning. Steve defined Apple by its design,’ says Dye. ‘We always remember him saying that design is not just a veneer. It’s not just how things look, it’s about how things work. After three years [at Apple Park], we couldn’t believe more in the vision of having one central Design Team across all Apple products.’
For designers such as Hankey and Dye, the challenge is to parlay the colossal responsibilities of such a footprint into a mutually beneficial future that serves customers and shareholders without depleting resources and hastening climate change.
As a company, Apple is making an effort to reduce its carbon footprint. Most Apple products are made with recycled material like iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and recently, the company removed power adapters and plastic wrap from iPhone and iPad boxes. The Apple design team explains that it has a great responsibility of making decisions that will materialize in millions of units. Therefore, the company is using its power to invoke change for the better.
An awareness of craft and construction is essential, for there is an acute responsibility that comes with shaping objects that will be made in the hundreds of millions. The economies of scale and the power of the brand give Apple a powerful platform from which to implement change.