Apple copied my innovation and it's Coroflot's fault...

The new apple phone uses a touch screen drag interface that I came up with a long time ago… It’s cool that they used it, but they could have gave me some shout outs at least…

NEW RULE FOR COROFLOT: If your going to use someone elses designs, give some shout outs…

OMG I thought I am the only victim!!!

Ever heard of PDA? My dad has been using a PDA with phone function since 6 years ago. What’s the big deal here?

Doh I bet you wished you had filed that patent! I thought it was pretty funny Steve Jobs played a Beatles track after all the farse of apple v apple stuff last year.

It’s funny how easy it is to come up with these great ideas and have nobody listen to you… All you hear about is “oh that would cost too much or there isn’t any off the shelf parts that work like that…” and then Apple does it and everyone tries to play catch up while losing their asses in market share… The lesson here is

“Take a risk and do what I say Corporate America!”

Also when people say you can’t design anything just based on your good judgment (assuming you have it) because you don’t know the consumer enough unless you’ve done tons of marketing research with the users. But then Apple makes breakthrough products more than most companies and they don’t do any market research with their customers. They come up with what they think is right and have faith enough and confidence in their judgment to go ahead with it to be leaders. The popular model is to be first to copy people like apple and do tons of market research to make safe bets as fast followers. But the power that designers have is to think of the things people don’t know they need yet and give it to them if they’re allowed to. Apple does what it thinks is the next right step, most other places follow closely (but safely) behind the real risk takers and true innovators.

where did you get that part about not doing any consumer research from???

I don’t know where skinny saw it, but I saw it in that article I posted in the other thread. The author stated that Apple does zero consumer research.

Good stuff Skinny. Well put.


ID highly doubt that apple does zero consumer research. either that or their designer are 300% genius and can read the minds of the people.

Look at any apple innovation, ipod, iphone ,imac, iAnything, and the result is exactly what consumers would expect in terms of function an usability. if anything, its a notice to those who do the wrong kind of consumer research and add 100s of functions and buttons because consumers say they want them

great quote from my past design prof, Jacques Giard,

“Consumers dont know what they want, but want what they know.”

You can ask asll the questions in consumer research, but still need to think for yourself and question what consumers havent even thought about.

As for apple “stealing” a touch screen design, im sure they had touch screens in 1960s star trek. not 100% original by anyone i would think, but the app is the key.


if anything, its a notice to those who do the wrong kind of consumer research and add 100s of functions and buttons because consumers say they want them

Agreed. The Old School Marketing focus groups is my guess as to what Apple refers to when they say they don’t do research. The fact that they go to visit knife making companies to learn how to mold steel, or gelatin/candy companies to study color and methodologies from other industries is, inherently…research.

Observing human nature, following trends, and parsing out the added features is the kind of research that I believe is meaningful. Designing a cool widget and then asking people if they like blue or red, or this feature or that leads to exactly the kind of design-by-committee crap that we see all too often.

I just think that the thing people miss sometimes is that your average consumer will like/want what they’re given. Apple thinks on their own… most others try to develop formulas and patterns to succeed based on someone elses thinking and proven success.

It’s like when I was in school and we had to write a report about something we read. I would try to come up with a new point of view…look at it in a way that I think nobody has previously and I’d do research and see that my view isn’t out there (published, that I can find at least). Then I would get marks off because I didn’t have a long bibliography of other authors that back up my view / have similar views. Uhh, that’s the point, I’m trying to say something nobody else has, if I’m doing that successfully I won’t have a long list of others with the same view. I’m trying to say something innovative, not innovatively regurgitate something some other “more important person” else has already said…

I think it’s like that in design sometimes. People say they want something new and innovative, but then give you parameters that essentially say they want it to be just like their competitors. And if you present something that is truly new and would force everyone in the chain to break preconceptions and innovate on their end from engineering to marketing…they say it’s too art school flaky, blue sky, can’t be done, too risky, and then you’re viewed as incompetent for presenting an idea like that. But then a company like apple goes ahead and does it because they know it’s good, makes millions, and then people call them genius…why couldn’t our squad do that?!?

If you’re in touch with your consumer, you can think like them and give them what they want. You create the trends and become a trendsetter. And actually you can tell them what they want and if you give it to them they will eat. Look at music vids. Let Busta wear some specific shoe and say he drinks some kind of liquor and the next week you’ll have hundreds of thousands of urbanites ordering that drink they can’t spell and looking for the shoes. No extraordinary research campaign, just put it in front of their faces, tell them it’s the new way to go and they’ll bite…then they’ll keep biting if it turns out it really is good…if not then you just had a fad/one hit wonder, etc… You just have to have confidence in what you think is good and the iron nads to go ahead with it (and people with the money that actually trust your skills and decision making ability doesn’t hurt either).

The industry sometimes tries to make things a little too “paint by numbers” predictable process/deliverables and strip designers of some of the unique insights they can really bring to the table. This turns the majority of us into the “artistic hands (no brains though)” of some other person/group that makes the real decisions and does the real thinking. They tell us what to do, how to do it, and have the final say of what’s “appropriate”. Then our end turns into presentation contests and the best presented concepts get produced, if the guy likes purple, it’ll get changed last minute to be purple.

I’ve seen some of the original sketches for the ipod and it wouldn’t make it on the wall for consideration at most places, it would need “more exploration/evolution… flesh it out, needs more etc…” Just imagine at a consultancy if the new project was to come up with a new breakthrough music player to turn the clients company around and your first initial #2 pencil wavy, bad perspective brainstorm sketch was a roundtangle with a screen and then a big button underneath that you said just does everything else you need it to. At most places it wouldn’t make it past that brainstorm and you probably wouldn’t be looked at very well. The idea that would eventually go through would have the rubberized bottom with the cool sharp corner that fades to nothing, overmold here+there, etc…that looks good as a rendering…that works just like the current top of the line plus or minus a few features to make it “innovative”. That initial idea of the rectangle with the one super button to do everything you need it to would most likely not make it to the phase where you consider deciding how it’s going to do what you say it can do.

Sorry for the ramble, I just know that there are good, potentially groundbreaking ideas not given consideration in-house and not even make it to the client because the first idea sketch wasn’t of something that was necessarily “stunning” to look at in rough sketch pencil form. Or worse was too magical like some rounded rectangle that’s all touch and takes the place of all of your gadgets you carry with you without even the one super button that does everything like that last a-hole we fired tried to pin to the wall, get real! People have to trust their designers unique insights and not filter it through the “me too” machine. Too much design by committee and design by numbers stuff going on that keeps companies from being able to create the breakthrough types of products that apple seems to be able to do with little trouble at all nowadays.

Actually I think it’s true that Apple doesn’t do customer research. I’ve heard two explanations: 1) Research is what screwed up the company, and when Jobs took the helm, they threw out the research and set Ives and team free. This mean’t no more beige boxes, but also meant usability disasters like the round-mouse. 2) They covet their secrecy.

Their IDers apparently spend much/most of their time with their manufacturers and Ives said they do an “embarassing amount” of prototyping.

Many people are saying how Apple products represent the work of 1st year ID students because they constantly seem to break the rules of physics and technology. Well, how do you do that? By spending time with your manufacturers and obsessively prototyping!

Think Different!

I happen to be working a revolutionary, earth shattering, ground breaking, innovative, category defining project right now that’s a perfect example of design by committee…and I’m the sole designer! It pains me to go around and around seeing this thing get beat to death. Oh well, I have other neat stuff going on to balance it out.

Keep on doing what you’re doing apple. i think it’s dandy.

Totally agree with skinny here. I hate to appear as an apple fanboy, but if a concept like the iphone were to be bought up to a design commitee other than apple, it would have been thrown out the window.

“Complete touch screen with no real buttons? Get real!”

Why is there only a few companies that innovate and the others have to follow? Afraid of the risk? Going halfass gets you nowhere, just look at the Rokr.

And things could be done without consumer research, as long as a company knows what it’s doing and has the right people on the job. You don’t need a rocket scientist to figure out what may be difficult for a consumer what may be easier for them. It’s all about finding the right talent and getting rid of all the corporate bureaucracy that can get in the way of it.

A story a “friend” of mine told me.

Years ago this friend was designing a car radio with mp3 capability a multi function scroll wheel like an ipod for a large american corporation. They loved the concept but thought it needed to be “tweaked” manufacturing wanted to make it a D pad for easier production. Human factors people thought the dpad was too confusing to older users and wanted to make it 4 buttons in a cross format, manufacturing got it back and said, well now that it is 4 buttons they need to be 2.5mm apart, Human factors thought the flush buttons would be difficult for ladies with nails and seniors and so they wanted them bulged and rounded… in the end it looked like 4 bulging chicklets, nothing like the original concept everyone loved… and then the project got canceled… and that is why people have a hard time knocking apple off the top of the design heap.

CG- Thanks, you beat me to it.

“Complete touch screen with no real buttons? Get real!”

While working on the now dead Smartphone, committee design is EXACTLY what killed the project. Well that and an idiot running the marketing.

Committees don’t work. Egos get in the way. Everyone wants to mark their territory.

If I had a friggin’ nickel for every time I heard someone with big-assed sausages for fingers say that they couldn’t feel the keypad in one breath and they say the phone was too big in the other I would sitting on a beach and not typing this right now!

Its been said several times already here…people have no clue what they want. They only want what they see. Focus groups are more than happy to tell you how to “fix” your product or concept. If you use them, you have to be DAMN good at interpreting the crap they say. Not to mention you have to ask good questions.

My favorite question in a marketing focus group that I heard was:

If this smart phone were 50% smaller, would you buy it?

It was 2001 when I did this - and guess what, no patent too!

I think the simple lesson of this is if you have a “great” idea, patent it. If it really IS that good, you will get licensing from a large(r) corporation/entity eventually.

Case in point:

There are no “new” ideas. Some variation of it has been thought of before. Back in 2002(ish) working at Sierra Wireless I was on a team set off to design their next product venture. We hired Ziba design as the design firm. They did hundreds, if not thousands of sketches. Every single variation of a phone with an integrated QWERTY keypad configuration that you can think of was sketched. Within 2 - 3 years, virtually all of the “good” ideas came to market. The main one that comes to mind is the Siemens sk65" phone. It opened up to look like a cross.

Well, to make no story long…we didn’t choose the configuration that was like the SK65…we went with what we called the “Barn Door”:

What we didn’t know at the time was some guy in Southern California owned the patent on this. Quite literally, some guy sitting in his garage had come up with this idea a year or two before our sketch sessions at Ziba.

Moral of the story?

If you want to get credit/money for your “great” idea, patent it.

This dude ended up with a windfall cheque that was more than MOST of us make in a couple of years…plus I believe a percentage of sales…not that that ended up being anything.