To Apple's Steve Jobs, design was not just a matter of aesthetics. It was also the experience of using products. His genius was in blending design and experience, tuning in to our complex lives and helping us orchestrate them. Just ask my mom.
My fingers hovered over the smooth keys of my paper-thin MacBook Air as I read the first notice of Steve Jobs’s death Wednesday evening. A second later, my iPhone and iPad lit up like fireflies. As I sat there, staring at the three shiny screens in front of me, my heart instantly ached over the passing of a man I had never met, but I felt knew me.
Many people communicate last wishes about their funerals, but perhaps no person in history has ever shaped the actual death announcement so definitively. Synced across our electronic devices, the moment was beautifully curated, as if Jobs had been designing it, even unintentionally, for years.
To Jobs, design was never for its own sake, and instead a means to something greater – the shaping of experiences. Aside from the innumerable accolades of Apple’s brilliant CEO as an innovator, a business hero, a visionary, he was also like you and me: a user, a consumer. And from that vantage point, he tuned in to our everyday experiences, helping us orchestrate our complicated lives.
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