Designing Magic

Perhaps, designing magical products, similar to creating compelling arguments, is a process as follows.  Put all the critical functionality you have on the table that solves the customer problem.  Then stop and work more intensely stripping it down and re-imagining it from the user perspective to create something simple, intuitive, elegant, obsessive, and magical from the perspective of the fresh eyes of a user. At the end of the process, the test is: did you end up with a product and a headline of “simple essential truths” that the user cannot get out of his or her head? Is it magic to the user?

Another quote from Steve Jobs that explains this eloquently:

Look at the design of a lot of consumer products — they’re really complicated surfaces. We tried to make something much more holistic and simple. When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions. Most people just don’t put in the time or energy to get there. We believe that customers are smart, and want objects which are well thought through.

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