Inspiration: Design and Functionality Go Hand-in-Hand

By , October 21, 2011

"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through." - Steve Jobs

When Steve Jobs died, he left behind a legacy of technological innovation, popularizing the digital music player and handheld computer with his introduction of the iPod and the iPhone. Steve Jobs was a visionary in the world of computing, but he was most renowned for his attention to design, for creating products that are sleek and streamlined. His ingenious designs were based on a subtle simplicity; many Apple consumers are drawn to the iPhones and Macs for their stylish design and simple interface. Steve Jobs recognized that a successful product must have an appealing presentation, when he launched the first generation iPod with a clean user interface and a small form factor. He did far better at creating a portable media player than any of the existing mp3 manfacturers at the time. Even back when he launched the first computer intended for an average consumer, the Apple II, aesthetics were a priority for Steve. He went as far as insisting that the lines on the circuitboard must be straight. There is no denying that Apple products really do look beautiful. But just because Steve Jobs produced shiny, well-designed products doesn't mean there is no substance behind the style. For Jobs, style and substance went hand in hand, and he always backed up his aesthetically pleasing products with solid construction, quality and performance. For Jobs, there was no distinction between form and function; he combined functionality and detail with an elegant form. Jobs didn't just create functional products, he create "fashionable pieces of functional art." Whether it was the screen space, the packaging, the operating system, the colors, or the interface - everything was continually improved upon, from appearance to performance. The take-away message here is that style matters. Design is important - elegance, simplicity, quality - they all matter.