Thoughts on Apple and Communicative Design

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I entered a discussion on one of my previous posts about product design, and I’ll post some of my answers here as a regular post for all of you who don’t delve into the comments regularly:

Things are always infinitely more complex than any descripition. Such is the nature of information and knowledge. Simplification is the purpose of models. And it is the consultants job to take the infinitely complex reality and simplify it into useful insights.

On the other hand, I withhold that Apple is an overused example, and one that is not applicable everywhere. (I’m as guilty as anyone of this over-use). There are of course examples of marketing as a product (or perhaps rather communicative design) that are more obscure, and thus perhaps richer in information than the Apple example. The second revision of the V70 is one where you could argue that the new, and for that time provocative, design cues was very communicative. Or for that matter, take the whole fashion industry, with WESC-headphones as a brilliant example. Or the market disruption that Nokia sparked when adding design value for mobile phones. Or Bang Olufsen.

But like I said, I agree that Apple is an over-used example (though an excellent one of communicative design), and I’ll do my best to use different ones.

What are your favorite examples to use?

One Response to "Thoughts on Apple and Communicative Design"
  1. theplanninglab says:

    I agree that models simplify, but the purpose is not too make things simpler, but to outline a path or strucuture to to achieve X. This tool or strategy can be as simple or as complex as possible. What matters is the abilitity to execute and the scale and scope of the problem.

    Unfortunately, too many consultants override a problem analyses to sell quick solutions, either by examples (these are more like snapshots of output), or at best by case studies (by definition out of context and hard to follow).

    That’s the main problem I have with using “blockbuster” examples.

    Another thing concerning innovation: key drivers are often internal, not external. Imagination, creativity, leadership, processes, timing, etc might be more relevant for delivering innovation than outside-examples (not to be confused with “thinking outside the box”).

    I prefer focussing on the client problem/scenario-building instead. But that’s a matter of taste.

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This blog is written by Walter Naeslund and has been around since 2007. The blog is about the journey of starting an advertising agency and a sneak peek behind the scenes of what goes on at the Honesty HQ in SoFo, Södermalm. It is also a blog about communication & technology. The blog has gathered almost a thousand posts over the years with several longer and shorter breaks. Welcome and enjoy.
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