Much has been said about Apple's attention to design. Now FastCoDesign.com has packaged an exhaustive oral history of Apple design in a series of six articles, four of which have been published as of today. The full oral history is also available in a book by Max Chafkin titled Design Crazy, available in the iTunes Store or on Amazon for US$1.99
It's a great look at some of the designers who have worked or still work at the company, and also offers more amusing / infuriating anecdotes about former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Here are some highlights so far:
Cordell Ratzlaff (manager, Mac OS human interface group; now a user experience director at Google): "We'd meet with Steve on Tuesday afternoons. He would come up with the craziest ideas. At one point, Steve wanted to do all of our error messages as haikus. He would leave, and we would all think, What is he smoking?"
Don Lindsay (design director, Mac OS user experience group; now VP of user experience at BlackBerry): "Shortly before the unveiling of the iMac, Steve turned his attention to the user experience on the Mac OS X. He hauled the entire software design team into a room, and in typical Steve style, he just declared everybody in the room to be an idiot."
Tim Kobe (cofounder, Eight Inc., an architecture firm that worked on display designs at Macworld conferences; now works on the design of the Apple Stores): "For the first two or three years, people didn't talk about the stores; they talked about the experience in the stores. Because the people who worked there were so different, and the way you engaged with technology was so different."
Dan Walker (chief talent officer; now an HR consultant): "I'd like to tell you the iPod was because of some deep skunk works R&D operation, but it didn't happen that way. It started because Jon Rubinstein was at the Toshiba factory in Japan. They had these tiny hard drives, and Ruby saw the potential."
Matt Rogers (firmware engineer, iPod division; now cofounder at Nest): "Before we launched at Macworld in January 2007, I was sitting in the bathroom using one of the devices, and I was like, this is revolution. I'm checking email in the bathroom. That was the moment when I realized this is a totally different kind of device."