Jony Ive on Apple product naming, David Beckham connection

By , Feb 20, 2013

Apple’s London-born VP of Industrial Design Jonathan Ive was last week honored with the greatest accolade in United Kingdom’s children TV, BBC’s Blue Peter programme. BBC’s Barney Harwood briefly interviewed Ive on his design work and journalist and recording engineer Tom Davenport has posted a video where Ive discusses how product naming philosophy can affect the design process. And as 9to5Mac noted, Ive also reveals a little known connection to David Beckham. Another video right after the break…

According to Ive, thinking outside the box extends to Apple’s naming philosophy.

In his theorizing on how he would approach designing a lunchbox, Ive drops hints on how Apple avoids using certain words in product names and design briefs.

If we’re thinking of lunchbox, we’d be really careful about not having the word ‘box’ already give you bunch of ideas that could be quite narrow.

You think of a box being a square, and like a cube. And so we’re quite careful with the words we use, because those can determine the path that you go down.

In other words, saying ‘this is a box so it must be a cube’ limits one’s creativity, according to Ive.

According to me, that’s pretty genius.

His comment is relevant in light of what Louis Bedigian wrote on Benzinga, that iWatch – Apple’s rumored app watch – isn’t actually a smart watch, but a standalone television set, another product Ive and his team are believed to be building in secrecy.

9to5Mac author Jordan Kahn has uploaded a longer 7-minute version to YouTube, watch it right below.

Ive went to the same high school as English footballer and celebrity David Beckham.

And here’s the full video of Ive’s BBC appearance.

Apple CEO Tim Cook during his Goldman Sachs keynote publicly called Ive “the best designer in the world.”

He also praised other members of Apple’s Leadership team.

When I look around the executive table, I see superstars. I see people who are at the top of their game.

Cook late last year let go Apple’s iOS boss Scott Forstall, apparently because of iOS Maps woes but also realizing other Apple executives were constantly complaining about Forstall’s abrasive management style.

As part of the reshuffling, Cook gave Ive broader responsibilities that now include software and user interface design for all Apple products.

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  • Kurt

    this is one guy who gets too much attention

    • Jonathan

      Jony Ive? he doesn’t get enough attention. (btw the title is spelt wrong)

      • Kurt

        His products look the same each year. He’s clearly not that busy.

      • Jonathan

        Its better than the CEO level staff getting credit for everything as they do in other companies, without googling do you know the designers of Samsung or HTC or Sony, Panasonic, etc?

      • Kurt

        I would if I owned devices from them. But I only have iDevices unfortunately.

      • http://twitter.com/iPod_touch Jordan Dixon

        Yep. Complete idiot.

      • Falk M.

        Please tell me what you work as, I’d like to judge your metier without any profound knowledge about it, too!

    • ReanimationXP

      Bitter, party of 1?

      • Kurt

        no dork

      • ReanimationXP

        Dang, that stung.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=558812483 Gustavo Adolfo Mirabal

        You just went full retard pal!

      • CollegiateLad

        Apple’s success angers him. Careful or he will thumbs down your comment. lol

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=558812483 Gustavo Adolfo Mirabal

        This Kurt guy trolls in every single post. He has no life and keeps thinking in that horrible man who touched him when he was 7. Go to a corner and jerk off DORK

      • Falk M.

        This comment being online for 16hours now made me lose any faith in this site’s moderation.

        Btw, you should be ashamed of yourself.

  • Mohammad Ridwan

    In Ive we trust…(iOS 7) :)

    • Kurt

      I bet you thought the same for iOS 6. and what did we get? nothing more than bugs

      • Jonathan

        Ive wasn’t involved with software with iOS 6.

    • ReanimationXP

      Ive designs hardware, not software, nubs.

      • Kurt

        who’s head of iOS now, nubs

      • ReanimationXP

        Who referenced iOS 6? Forstall was in charge, toolshed. Regardless he’s got better things to do than redesign iOS. The people already in that department will do what they were already working on.

      • Kurt

        Doesn’t negate what I said. All you fanboys were goo-goo-ing and gah-gah-ing over iOS 6 as nothing came but bugs. But you think “in Ive we trust” will come to the rescue? He is known for not changing things. What part of that don’t you understand? Should I talk in your baby language again for you to comprehend?

      • http://twitter.com/iPod_touch Jordan Dixon

        I knew you were an idiot.

      • http://twitter.com/sivkai Siv

        No point arguing with fanboys here, Kurt. They worship Apple as if it was god itself.

      • Mohammad Ridwan

        He is now the Head of Human Interface at Apple and iOS 7 will be heavily designed by Sir Ive

      • http://twitter.com/burlow burlow

        we won’t see any Ive influence until iOS 8 at the earliest. iOS 7 was already far along in development when Ive took over.

      • Mohammad Ridwan

        We’ll see… iOS 7 is already overdue for UI shakeup..

      • seyss

        he designs human interfaces.. that includes user interface (UI) on iOS you bitch

      • Falk M.

        awww booohooooo!!!
        Somebody is wrong, I must call them a bitch.

        lol

  • Bob

    Jonathon Ive is awesome, everything he says makes so much sense. He’s a wise person and I admire him :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    eh ios 7 will be boring

  • bloodshed

    he seems a wise man.. and gives enough attention to what’s in his hands, no matter whether it’s tiny or big..i dunno if he’s doing it in front of the camera, but he seems like a visionary in a way. i’m not assuming he’s gonna improve ios or change the looks of it, this topic is over!..i’m not expecting Ive or apple to do that!..long live jailbreak.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tafk1 Taf Khan

    Blue Peter… Well it could be worse, could have been Jim’il Fix It!

  • http://twitter.com/sivkai Siv

    What utter nonsense.

    Having the word ‘box’ limits one’s creativity in interpreting the product, and hence limits the success of said product? Well in that case, the X’box’ the entire world has come to love will have gone down the toilet with the first iteration. But no, we saw the 360 released and the next successor soon to be released.

    How does Apple name products? Just by pure randomness. Like every other company. There is no ‘naming philosophy’. Stop worshipping Ive as a god.