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Steve Jobs' Legacy is Assured in Both Product & User Interface Design

21st November 2011
By pidoco1 in Commercial Law
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A day that all tech analysts knew was coming sooner rather than later still managed to catch the blogosphere off guard. That day of course is the resignation of Apple impresario Steve Jobs. His 1997 return to Apple as CEO after being unceremoniously expelled in the mid-80s has been nothing short of spectacular. His legacy in terms of hardware is secured through the Apple II, Macintosh, NeXT (used by Tim Berners-Lee to create the world wide web), the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone, the MacBook Air, and the iPad. These aforementioned products have always been praised for their product design but their legacy is heavily felt in terms of user interface design. A lot of this is also due Steve Job's assertive perfectionism, having no qualms to send user interface design teams back to the drawing board at whatever point in the development cycle.

User Interface Design on the Macintosh

The Macintosh was the first commercially successful personal computer to use a Graphical User Interface rather than a Command Line Interface design such as on the Apple II. The film Pirates of Silicon Valley mercilessly shows Bill Gates fuming with envy and copying the Macintosh's graphical user interface design for Windows. The basic user interface design of the original Macintosh OS is still very much alive today on OS X, Windows and Linux. Using icons of real life objects as user interface design metaphors has not only lasted till today but will continue to evolve as the trend in skeuomorphic user interface design continues.

User Interface Design on the NeXT

The NeXTSTEP operating system built upen the user interface design of the Mac OS to introduce Graphical User Interface concepts such as system wide drag-and-drop, real-time scrolling and window modification notifications. The OS also introduced the idea of the Dock and large full-color icons to the user interface design. Since the very first HTML codes were created on NeXTSTEP one can even see Steve Job's hand in the user interface design of the internet.

User Interface Design on the iMac

Having released the iconic iMac Steve Jobs would oversee the release of a new Unix-based operating system built on the foundations of NeXT. Its user interface design introduced the Aqua theme that very much mimicked the rounded, translucent look of the very first iMac. The new user interface design was not without controversy as the founder of the Apple Human Interface Group chastised it for taking a step backwards in terms of usability. Despite this the look and feel of the Aqua user interface design would be copied by others incurring threats of litigation.

User Interface Design on the iPod & the iPhone

The iPod quickly became the gold standard in portable MP3 players. This was due in no small part to the simplicity of using. The user interface design was uncluttered and minimalist, which really came to the fore with the click wheel. The iPhone continued the trend of Apple producing the gold-standard of a product's category. Despite a very steep price iOS' user interface design based on direct multi-touch gestures disrupted an entire industry. Today there is not one major mobile maker in the world that does not have a touchscreen smartphone in its product catalog.

User Interface Design on the iPad

The iPad would build upon iOS from the iPhone and iPod Touch to create a new category of consumer electronic: the tablet. The influence of the iPad on user interface design has even led to the latest version of Mac OS X mimicking iOS. Early screenshots of Windows 8 also suggest a similar merging of user interface design to fit both the larger desktops and the smaller mobile devices.

Should Steve Jobs decide to kick back and no longer contribute to stamping his authority on the product (highly unlikely) and user interface design of future Apple products we will continue to feel his legacy across the board.

About The Author:
================== Interface Design, Wireframe, Wireframes, Wireframe Software, Interface Design Software, User Interface Design, Online Wireframe Tool, Wireframe Tool, Interface Prototyping, Clickable Wireframes, Usability Testing and Digital Paper Prototyping. User centered design for improved User Interface Design. Read More:
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