With the news that Jony Ive is moving on from Apple after nearly thirty years with the company, that got many people thinking about what he meant to the company. (Spoiler, a lot!) Ive was passionate about what design could do, and you see that when he gets on stage at WWDC back in 1997 to talk about it.
In the video (around the 31 minute mark), you can see a much younger Phil Schiller introduce a one, Jonathan Ive, the Director of Design at the time to talk about design at Apple. We must warn you, the sight is something to behold.
Jony Ive has a full head of hair, a mustache and his brilliant British accent that became synonymous with Apple promo videos. He starts by talking about Apple's approach to design so people can better understand what they were doing at the moment and where they were heading in the future. This was a prelude to the iconic iMac G3 in 1998.
Industrial design makes broad contribution to user value, that ranges from the easily understood issues of use, utility and function, through to the more emotive, less tangible issues of product appeal. I think a truly great design, a truly great solution, is a holistic solution that really addresses both issues of function and utility, and issues of appeal.
Ive touches upon the disparity between the Apple designs they were working on and the products that were being sold. At this time, Apple was really struggling financially and was near bankruptcy until the iMac changed its fortunes.
He goes on to make clear how important Apple's commitment to design is. This foreshadowed the painstaking approach the company ended up taking with the iPod, iPhone, MacBook Air and iPad to create truly iconic products.
Check out the video to see all of Jony Ive's comments during the 1997 WWDC. He is truly enlightening.