Apple’s Design Process Essay

Question:

1.Critically examine and explain how the four design steps adopted by apple is the right way of product design. Support your answer with example wherever necessary?

2.Going by the case, do you think Apple by focusing on a narrow product line, is following a good design strategy. Explain your answer with examples?

Answers:

1. Apple is considered as one of the leading companies that maintain uniqueness through it designs. The core values of the Apple are related to their designs (Kumar, Townsend and Vorhies, 2015). According to the ex- CEO of Apple Steve Jobs, quality is always more precious than quantity. Although Apple is one of the most preferred brands among the gadget lovers, people are not much aware of their designing process (Lemley, 2014). Recently in a panel discussion it has been revealed that team of Apple mainly follow four techniques during the manufacturing of any product, those are: i) Pixel perfect mockups ii) 10 to 3 to 1 iii) Paired Design Meetings iv) Pony Meetings (Chuang, Morgan and Robson, 2015).

After the discussion regarding the new product, managers rely on their excellent designers for the design. They follow the below mentioned steps:

i) Pixel Perfect Mockups: This is the initial stage of designing any product. This stage usually takes lot of time, but this stage is often considered as an important stage as it helps to prevent mistakes.

ii) 10 to 3 to 1: This step differs from Apple to the other brands. No other brands will destroy their ten other designs to establish a perfect design (Dooley, 2013). At first, the expert designers creates ten prototypes by using their creativity, among them only three designs is selected by the experts and then they select the one best design among all of them.

iii) Paired Design Meetings: Apple always believes in teamwork. They maintain a good communication strategy among the team. While designing any new product Apple often conducts team meetings between the designers and the engineers. They discuss about every small aspects of the design. These meetings often lead to generate many innovative ideas that can be beneficial for the the emerging design. Designers and engineers usually meet twice a week. Concept of these types of meetings has been brought by the CEO of Steve Jobs.

iv) Pony Meetings: Designers always keep in touch with the managers and keep them updated about the developments of the product. These types of meetings reduce the risk of future disappointments.

Apple has reduced all the unimportant stages of production. This has made their production procedure simpler. They have involves those steps in the designing procedure that are considered as the key steps of production. Although, the production cost is higher in Apple from the other brands due to the, but Apple ensures the quality of the product (Jia et al., 2014). Quality is the basic priority for the Apple. Apple always welcomes the creativity and innovative ideas of their designers. They allow them to put all their creativity to develop a design. Apple brings an innovative concept about production. Management provides enough space to the designers to show their creativity. They have shown that a quality product does not only require a great team but it demands the high level of creativity (Iwaki et al., 2014). Apple has set an example for the other brands that using great creativity and teamwork can bring fame and profits altogether.


2
. As mentioned in the previous case study, Apple follows a narrow product line. They deal with a few numbers of products. They do not believe in market research or diversifying the product line. They do not want to become competition for other brands and spread risk within the market. They have complete faith on the quality of their products and their own technologies. Apple is following the designing strategy. The objective of designing strategy is to consolidate the business and the creativity in such a manner that makes the design more than an artistic exercise (Alsyouf, Al-Alami and Saidam, 2015). An exemplary example is the Robert Bynder Design Inc (RBD). According to its creative head Rob Bynder, while they have merged up the designing skills with the business strategy it works as a tool that enhances the growth of the organization. Apple has also used design as their key element of the production. They consider creativity as the major tool of their strength. Designers have been allowed to show their creativity to establish every single design. As the case study shows that designers are asked to make ten prototypes for a single design. Among those at first three designs are considered as the finalists, later on they choose only the best design for the final manufacturing process. Not every gadget manufacturing company use this process, as it is a very time consuming process and it enhances the cost of the production as well. However, quality is Apple’s first concern. They have used the creativity of the designers in an effective manner. Management interacts with its team frequently with the designing team but never create any obstacles for them to perform. They encourage the new ideas and provide a platform to the designers where they can show their creativity. They always maintain transparency within the organization. They ensure that designers always discuss about the new developments with the management so the future disappointments can be avoided. It shows that they are focused enough about the development of business as well but creativity is their first preference. They have set an example for all the designers those who want to achieve the goal in the path of creativity; they have shown that success can be achieved through the creativity (Gruber et al., 2015). Although Apple follows its own techniques and strategies and never relies on any market research, Apple is one of the most preferred brands in the market. Apple has complete faith on their designers and they believe their designers possess the capacity to amuse the world.

Reference:

Alsyouf, I., Al-Alami, A. and Saidam, A., 2015. Implementing product design development methodology for assessing and improving the performance of products. International Journal on Interactive Design and Manufacturing (IJIDeM), 9(3), pp.225-234.

Chuang, F.M., Morgan, R.E. and Robson, M.J., 2015. Customer and competitor insights, new product development competence, and new product creativity: differential, integrative, and substitution effects. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 32(2), pp.175-182.

Dooley, J., 2013. Steve Jobs' moment of silence.

Gruber, M., De Leon, N., George, G. and Thompson, P., 2015. Managing by design. Academy of Management Journal, 58(1), pp.1-7.

Iwaki, S., Hokamura, K., Ogawa, M., Takehara, Y., Muramatsu, Y., Yamane, T., Hirabayashi, K., Morimoto, Y., Hagisawa, K., Nakahara, K. and Mineno, T., 2014. A design strategy for small molecule-based targeted MRI contrast agents: their application for detection of atherosclerotic plaques. Organic & biomolecular chemistry, 12(43), pp.8611-8618.

Jia, L., Zhao, G., Shi, W., Coombs, N., Gourevich, I., Walker, G.C., Guerin, G., Manners, I. and Winnik, M.A., 2014. A design strategy for the hierarchical fabrication of colloidal hybrid mesostructures. Nature communications, 5.

Kumar, M., Townsend, J.D. and Vorhies, D.W., 2015. Enhancing consumers' affection for a brand using product design. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 32(5), pp.716-730.

Lemley, M.A., 2014. A Rational System of Design Patent Remedies.

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