Apple’s top 10 tips for great product design

Some of the secrets to success

apples top 10 tips for product design

Apple makes world-class products. People like them and keep buying more. There are more Apple users today than ever before. How can competitors compete? They might consider these ten tips:

Quality counts

From the moment you step inside an Apple retail store to when you replace your much-loved Apple product, you are in an Apple-designed experience. This experience covers: retail store, retail sales strategy, product packaging, the software and support and, of course, the high quality materials used in the product itself. Each component reflects Apple’s understanding that quality counts.

"I think we are surrounded by hundreds and thousands of products that show companies don’t care enough about what they design for consumers,” Apple chief designer Jony Ive has said before.

Embrace change

Nothing in Apple’s universe lasts forever. Just as the iPod morphed into the iPhone and the original iMac has gone through successive iterations of design, every single part of the company can be replaced or its design revived. This willingness to cannibalize successful product lines to make way for new ones confounds competitors who think its good business to find a cash cow and milk it to death. Apple’s history shows it is ready to dump the old to make way for the new: Can anyone else remember floppy drives? Does anyone still pine for FireWire? When did you last need a CD-ROM? (iPhones will eventually be replaced by Apple Watch.)

Stay ahead

Apple popularized Wi-Fi in 1999 when it launched the iBook with AirPort connectivity. That’s just one of many ways in which it wields the latest technologies within compelling products. Take the iPod mini, made possible by new 1.8-in. hard drive technologies, Thunderbolt or Apple’s anticipated adoption of USB Type-C. Apple delivers new to market technologies within compelling new products people need.

Whole widget

Apple owns the software that drives the products it designs and owns much of the primary technology for. This enables it to introduce new solutions and add additional features over time – that’s what you have in Apple Pay.

Riding without wheels

Apple spends a lot of time on product design: you can rush a concept to market but inventing useful new product categories takes work and risk. When you design solutions for the first time, you do so without any prototypes or reference points.

Read on for risks

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