Apple products have established an important, valuable, and limitless presence in the evolving and exciting world of technology design. Each product of Apple has been carefully designed to make our lives easier. There’s no doubt that Apple products define what a good technology design is.
According to Steve Jobs, design is all about how a product works. This is contrary to the belief that it’s all about the overall look of a product. Given this in depth concept, we can have a glimpse on how Apple applied their unique, simple, and nearly perfect technology design process.
The Apple Vision
A brief look at Apple’s computer products over the years not only shows the passion of a man that wanted to make a difference but reflects his remarkable visionary way of thinking. These Apple products are the outcomes of the vision of Steve Jobs. That vision was to be able to provide computers for everybody. This was a huge vision in the mid 1970s when there were no home computers yet.
With that vision, Steve Jobs slowly applied his own technology design process to come up with amazing computer products that have landed in the hands of consumers all over the world.
How Apple Made It Easy
Over the years, Apple created and developed computers that stood out in design and features. From the Apple II in 1997 to the iPad Air in 2013, Apple literally got the whole world to touch the screen to get everything done. From shopping, working, computing, watching, and communicating; Apple has it all covered in one compact gadget. That’s definitely more than just providing a computer for everybody.
Let’s take a brief look at how Apple evolved to be the kind of computer products that make our lives easy.
The Apple I
In 1975, Apple came up with the Apple I.
“This computer was the first to use keyboard and could be connected to a TV.”
The Apple II
This Apple II was a much better version.
“The new Apple II added color graphics and was a huge improvement.”
The Apple III
This Apple model did not work well with consumers.
“The Apple III was a huge failure because it was badly engineered.”
The Apple Lisa
Lisa was Apple’s answer to the Xerox Alto computer, the first computer with a mouse. This had a Graphical User Interface (GUI).
“Apple’s first attempt to a machine with a GUI was Lisa in 1983, a high-end computer. But it was expensive and didn’t sell.”
The 1984 Macintosh
This was a better and cheaper version of the Lisa. This became popular with folks that wanted to own an easy-to-use computer. It also had great graphics.
The 1987 Mac II
This was the first model that had color graphics.
“By now, the Mac was finally rated as computer graphics professionals.”
The 1989 Mac Portable
This was Apple’s initial attempt in creating portable computers.
“ … but weighing in at almost 15 lbs …”
The 1991 Powerbook 100
This was the first modern laptop ever created. From here on, Apple has been creating computers everybody can use. We have seen the iMac, PowerMac G4, Powerbook G3, iPods, iPads, and iPhones over the years. There’s no doubt that these products have evolved from a technology design process that aims to provide better solutions to our everyday lives.
Seeing how all the Apple products have evolved over the years clearly depicts the technology design process that Apple is uniquely known for.
Have you ever wondered how something so useful came about? As you navigate through your smart phone each day, have you ever stopped to wonder how they ever came up with it? And with all the amazing and awesome innovations these days, have you ever stopped to wonder about what they will think of next? Earl Nightingale, a great motivational speaker, is known for this famous and inspiring line:
“Everything begins with an idea.”
That is absolutely true. But with the technology going beyond limits these days, you’d wonder if there are any great ideas left for you to come up with? Well, Henry Ford has this to say about that:
“The air is full of ideas. They are knocking you in the head all the time. You only have to know what you want, then forget it, and go about your business. Suddenly, the idea will come through. It was there all the time.”
Suffice it to say, everybody has some wonderful idea about something. That particular idea is always an outcome of a need. Take for example the abacus. Almost 5000 years ago, the Chinese had a need to calculate. From that need, an idea came about and the abacus was born. So there’s really no doubt that everybody has some kind of idea. But unfortunately, not everybody can execute an idea. With that, most ideas usually are usually forgotten. The good thing is that identifying a need is actually the first step to executing a great idea. This initial step in executing a great idea is part of a wonderful cycle called Technology Design Process.
The video defines Technology Design Process really well.
“Almost all forms of technology, while they’re being developed, undergo this process.”
This particular process provides all the right steps for technology development. Recognizing that particular need as a solution to everyday challenges is an important factor of the whole Technology Design Process.
“The technology must have a reason to be developed.”
The Key Steps in Identifying the Need
Technology Design Process provides all the important steps that can guide you to a more logical way of thinking. You will be able to gather more valuable information and make better judgements.
Ask. In asking a question, you will be able to determine what the need is. Create a list of needs. Think of the situations when you were confronted with those needs. Ask the questions why you should develop the technology and what your goal is.
Imagine. Process your question. Use your imagination and visualize what you need to do so that you can come up with a solution to your question. This is the stage in the Technology Design Process where you can have a better grasp of your idea.
Plan. Outline the various stages of how you will accomplish your goal. This where your you should have a clear set of action plans and timelines.
Create. Create a prototype. Be creative. Go back to your questions and see if the prototype is a solution. Test the prototype and see if it works. List down all the challenges and problems, then analyze.
Improve. Test and revise the prototype. Come up with solutions and new designs. Gather feedback about the prototype. As you improve your technology design, you will able “to accomplish the same goal but are more conducive to everyone’s needs or desires”. Given how exhaustive the steps are, it really doesn’t come as a surprise that Technology Design Process is the root of all great things.
In fact, the design process also applies to software design wherein not only the mechanics are taken into consideration but also the look and feel of the software are blended to the total presentation. For example, this online backup software has been hailed for its ease of use as well as simplicity of visual design. The software, Carbonite, has been hailed by users as one of the aesthetically designed user platform due to its simplicity. You can check it out yourself by visiting http://www.r-fate.com/carbonite-offer-code-discount to see how the people at Carbonite used tech design to simplify and bring about a great user experienced to end-users of this online backup solution for businesses.
Now if you are interested in how tech design was used for online backup solutions for personal use, visit http://www.r-fate.com/carbonite-business-offer-code-discount and see for yourself how they have integrated tech design to make this software truly user friendly.
A great product is an outcome of a solid technology design process. While it all starts out with an idea, the actual execution is guided by all the steps in the technology design process. There’s just no way anything can be created and developed without a sound technology design process in place.
The Reality Of Product Limitations
Look around and you will see almost all kinds of innovative gadget. All these gadgets were created by a brilliant team that complied to their particular technology design process. Nowadays, it’s easy to be surrounded by state-of-the-art products that never cease to amaze you.
But in spite of how technology has leveled up all the innovative products created today, the reality is that they all have their limitations. The video below says it well:
“Eventually we’ll discover certain limitations to any technology.”
So while you are amazed at how your smart phone can store all your valuable files, the reality is that there’s a limitation. It just cannot do everything.
A Solid Technology Design Process At Work
Knowing that all innovative prodicts have their own limitations is actually good news. While you thought that everything has been invented and there’s just no more room for the next best thing, the technology design process provides you the right path to come up with an amazing product.
Take for example the mobile phone. A few years back, you had thought that calling someone from anywhere was simply revolutionary. In spite of carrying a humongous gadget, you were amazed with the thought of communicating with anybody from anywhere. It was a big deal.
You’d have to admit that the revolutionary onset of the mobile phone era puts in place an amazing technology design process. Years ago through the first mobile phone model, it had addressed a simple need to communicate. Then interestingly after twenty-five years, the mobile phone is still evolving, providing more services and products aside from mere communication. This innovative evolution of the mobile phone clearly defines the most exciting step in the technology design process which is the improvement stage.
It Just Never Ends
The cycle of improving a product through a technology design process never ends. While it’s called iteration in the engineering process, it can well be applied in the technology design process as well.
“Integration is part of an engineering design process. It’s like a cycle … this cycle, we develop a plan for your project, design and build a model, test and evaluate the model, then begin the cycle again by redesigning the model based upon your test results. ”
You can see this never-ending cycle in all the gadgets that you are dependent on nowadays. There’s just no doubt that each time a new product is launched, it’s going to be a more improved version. Thanks to a solid technology design process, a product can always be tested, redesigned, and recreated to become better than the previous one. With the never ending cycle, a more improved product is always just around the corner.
In fact, when applied in the design of online backup software such as Carbonite, www.TraversalTech.com says that various iterations of the product in the real world combined with actual customer feedback, has brought about a remarkable improvement in the software’s user interface, features, and functionalities. Furthermore, as the software products overall performance improves, more people get to use the product and provide more feedback, thereby creating an endless cycle of software redesign and updates.
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