Apple's product design team has become more cost-conscious in recent years

Mark Gurman reported that in the past few years, Apple's product design team has increased the turnover of personnel, hindering efforts to replace its former design director Jony Ive. Apple has lost most of the senior designers working under Jony Ive, many of whom jumped to his new design firm LoveFrom, which Jony Ive founded after he left Apple in 2019.

At least 15 senior Apple designers have left the company since Jony Ive turned part-time in 2015, and fewer people moved between 2000 and 2015, the report said. It is said that only a "small fraction" of senior designers from the Jony Ive era are still around.

Last month, Apple confirmed that its vice president of industrial design, Evans Hankey, plans to leave the company next year, though the report said she currently has no plans to join LoveFrom. Since Jony Ive's departure, Evans Hankey has served as Apple's de facto head of design, reporting to Apple operations chief Jeff Williams.

Even before Jony Ive's departure, Apple's operations department had begun to exert more influence on the design team, leading to an increased focus on cost" rather than a "pure focus on appearance and function. 

One longtime Apple designer, speaking on condition of anonymity said, the strength of the team is that we're a core, connected by an incredible environment and a fairly unconventional way of doing things. It's a special team. After Steve's death, it wasn't easy to maintain - things started to get more complicated. There was more pressure and outside distractions.

The report goes on to talk about potential successors to lead Apple's design team, from veteran industrial designer Richard Howarth to software design chief Alan Dye to external hires. Evans Hankey plans to stay on during the transition period, Apple said.

An Apple spokesperson said last month in response to Evans Hankey's planned departure, Apple's design team brings together expert creatives from around the world and across many disciplines to create undeniably Apple products. The senior design team has a strong leader with decades of experience. Evans Hankey plans to stay on as we work through the transition, and we would like to thank her for her leadership and contributions.

Post a Comment