Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Most Valuable Advice Ever

In 1985, the year Steve Jobs was forced out of Apple, Jony Ive was in design school in England, struggling with computers, blaming himself.

“Isn’t that curious?” he says now. “Because if you tasted some food that you didn’t think tasted right, you would assume that the food was wrong. But for some reason, it’s part of the human condition that if we struggle to use something, we assume that the problem resides with us.”

The principle is universalizable: substitute “read” for “use,” and it elicits a similar epiphany.

Addendum (12/16/2014): David Pogue makes the same point:

“Remember: if it doesn’t work, it’s not necessarily you. It could be the design of the thing you’re using.”