No Image Available

Bola Owoade

Jewish Care

Senior Learning and Development Advisor

Read more from Bola Owoade

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Byte-Sized Book Review – Jony Ive, The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products By Leander Kahney



Quick Book Review

Jony Ive is a product designer who came to the limelight after joining Apple, but his design talent had been apparent well before that, which is what led him to Apple. This books goes into detail about Jony’s rise to design excellence starting with how his father nurtured his design talent when he was young, his design education, eventual venture into entrepreneurship after co-founding the design shop, Tangerine, and how he ended up at Apple. According to some, he is probably the most important person at Apple after the death of Steve Jobs.

Though this book is mainly about Jony Ive, you will learn a lot about the design philosophy of Apple which was largely championed by Jony. He has won numerous design awards including the ten D&D awards considered to be the Oscars of design, more than any other designer. He has also been awarded both an OBE and KBE, recognition from the queen for playing an important role in the design industry.

It is fair to say that Jony has been largely responsible for a number of hit products: IPod, IPhone, IPad and IWatch, which have made Apple one of the most innovative and valuable companies in the world.

So why should you read this book? If not for anything else read it to understand some of the ways Apple does things. It will help you understand why they have been so successful in recent times.

My Lessons From The Book

The lessons from the book come mostly from the way Apple manages the design of it’s products. The core principle that Jony promoted in Apple is that of minimalism whereby products are made simple to use and at the same time beautiful. His view is that the design of a product should disappear in front of the user. In other words the user should not notice the design because it is so simple to use. While this might sound easy, it is a complex way to build things because it requires products to have less features, yet they should be highly functional for the user. To build things this way Apple:

  • Have had to pioneer new manufacturing methods previously not used in the computer industry.
  • Pay very close attention to the minute details in a product even to the point of designing the parts of a product that people rarely see with care.
  • Have an intense culture of continuous improvement.
  • Are constantly learning from different sources.

Before designing any product Jony and his team always put together a design story which looks at how they want the customer to feel when using the product. It is only after they capture that customer feeling through a story that they start designing a product to capture the customer experience.

Lessons For Learning and Development

  • As a learning and development practitioner there are a number of lessons I got from the book. Here they are:
  • Design your learning products to be simple and easy to use. They don’t have to incorporate all the latest technology, but they should help the user meet the end goal of learning. If a user has to look for extensive documentation to use a learning product, then it’s too complex.
  • Think about the learner experience. Will they enjoy learning with the product or will it be something they have to use, but don’t enjoy. When you develop a learning product for people, how do you want them to feel using it? Design not only to achieve learning, but also for the learner to enjoy the learning process.
  • Don’t stop improving. Every learning practitioner and team must learn continuously. Learn from reading, observing what others are doing, from sources that are not related to learning and development (like this book) and continuous experimentation. Continuous learning is key to innovation. Learning practitioners and teams that don’t keep on learning can’t be innovative.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. While you might not notice it from looking at Apple’s products, every product they bring to market goes through numerous iterations. Sometimes products are even scrapped because they don’t work well even after substantial investments of time and money. In learning and development we must inculcate the act of continuous experimentation and learning from the results of our experiments to deliver the best quality of learning.

No Image Available
Bola Owoade

Senior Learning and Development Advisor

Read more from Bola Owoade

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.

Thank you!