Apple design process

10Jan10

There is an article from Business Week: Apple’s design process about a presentation given at SXSW by Michael Lopp, senior engineering manage from Apple about their internal design process.

I liked the idea about paired meetings where each week they have 2 meetings.
– One is a free for all – a meeting to innovate with no constraints….totally blue sky. (FORM)

– The 2nd is a meeting that is more structured , and where constraints are considered…..where the how and the feasibility is really worked out. (FUNCTION)
Tim Brown and Barry Katz in Change by Design discuss a similar approach whereby they maintain that both divergent and convergent thinking are required for innovative design and problem solving. (p68)

Convergent thinking drives us to solutions (left brain thinking)

Divergent (right brain thinking)

“The process of the design thinker, rather, looks like a rhythmic exchange between the divergent and convergent phases, with each subsequent iteration less broad and more detailed than the previous ones. In the divergent phase, new options emerge. In the convergent phase it is just the reverse: now it’s time to eliminate options and make choices.”

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One Response to “Apple design process”

  1. Hey Jax,
    The same view of creativity as requiring divergent and convergent thinking came up in this Newsweek article on education I was reading this morning.
    http://www.newsweek.com/2010/07/10/the-creativity-crisis.html
    Seems to me that there are two movements here – one to make schools more like workplaces (i.e. places that engage students to find innovative solutions to real problems) and another to make workplaces more like school (i.e. places with room for safe exploration and play).
    What do you think? Is this an extension of life-long learning into the workplace or a colonisation of childhood by corporate interests? Or something else entirely?

    – Justin


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