Steve Jobs was a designer first, CEO second.

"His focus on the little things like the 'space between different letter combinations' was a constant from the development of the Macintosh to the iPhone, which was released more than 20 years later.
This is what separated Mr. Jobs, as a chief executive, from everyone else."

I wish I could send this, the article above, to all my design clients- if only to point out that a good design, whatever its intended use, is an aggregation of many small decisions- each one as important as the next. The resulting design is no more or less than the sum of these decisions. Each choice, no matter how seemingly insignificant, matters.

I've come to realize that many people seem to subscribe to the view that there is such a thing as "a design" which exists in the abstract— platonically; independent of its component parts. This belief in turn gives rise to the misapprehension that changing a design (a bigger font here, a different color there, a change in layout) does not, in fact, make for a different design altogether. "We're keeping the design," I'm told, "but we want some changes." Such a thing isn't possible. These details are the design.

All of which is to say: the bevel on that power indicator matters. The size and placement of that typeface matter. That color matters. It all, in fact, matters.

It is exactly these "details" that separate products we tolerate from those we love.


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