Articles about "Steve Jobs"


Steve Jobs’ ideas spawned a rich visual lexicon that changed the way we see design

Letters on a computer screen were two-dimensional blips and characters that rolled along as you typed them in before Steve Jobs and his team created the windows interface.

Jobs gave visual depth to things.

He put drop shadows between elements so that we could see which item was “on top” of our desktop, which was below.

It’s mind blowing. Elements as simple as drop shadows, sketched by Jobs in his garage when he was 20 years old, have become part of a worldwide visual lexicon that allows us to intuitively interact with information.

We don’t even think about the small details, because we expect to be able to push a button, move a mouse, pinch a screen and have the world come to us.

Jobs created that expectation, step-by-step and with a vision for making things intuitive, easy and fun to use.

Let’s talk about the mouse. Really? Why is it a “mouse”? Because it has a tail and it resembles the critter.

The original mouse design isn’t Jobs,’ but his integration with a visual interface has made it something else we take for granted, and something to which we have a certain emotional attachment. Apple made significant refinements to the design. Click on a mouse and it’s a comfortable, reliable, extension of our hand, easy to use.

Usability matters a great deal.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works,” Jobs said.

Jobs allowed us to click on things that aren’t really there and put them in places that don’t physically exist.

Long before you “threw something away” on your computer, Jobs was sketching out what a digital trashcan might look like. It should look … like a trashcan! He imagined what it might feel like to “drag and drop” something into it.

Roll your “mouse” over an “icon”’ (a word that used to conjure up a religious relic of some sort) and it feels and sounds as if you have pressed a button.

How long do you have to wait before your page loads? Just check the progress bar. Useful, visual information at its finest.

Even the packaging and instruction design for Apple products are about usability. There’s something about opening the box and the conversational way the instructions are designed and written that makes you feel like someone is talking you through the experience.

These tiny details are the DNA of data visualization and what engages users.

Jobs loved detail. He once took a calligraphy class while at Reed College and came away from it with a deep appreciation of typographic detail: serif and sans serif; varying the amount of space between different letter combinations and about “what makes great typography great,” he said in a commencement address at Stanford University in 2005.

“If I had never dropped in on that single course in college,” he said, “the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts.”

And his designs had an overwhelming impact on the design of other personal computers.

From the beginning at Apple, Jobs insisted on hiring the right people to hone his products: designers, developers, researchers and behavioral psychologists who could identify the needs, motivations and behaviors of users. Jobs wanted to create products that emphasized the user goals and experience first.

New career tracks in design and user interaction have been fueled and perhaps even invented by Jobs’ interests in optimizing the emotional engagement of his products.

Just think how much fun you’d have today on Facebook if you had to use a Linux-based system to post your status. None.

The first time I ever saw a Mac was at my brother Tim’s corporate office in Wichita in 1984. He said, “You’ve got to come over to see this.” When he touched the mouse, the screen lit up and we saw a friendly little computer screen with the word “Hello.”

“Make it do that again!!” I said.

And I was far from a computer novice at the time. I’d worked as a typesetter for a number of years. But to see a free form, organic shape on a computer screen and beautifully designed navigation made me really excited.

Have you had a similar experience with an Apple product? Don’t we all have that feeling now, when we see a usable, well-designed and intuitive new device of some sort?

Thanks, Mr. Jobs. Read more


The most popular story on the most visited news website is not about Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs’ death topped many news sites’ lists of “Most Popular” stories on Thursday, including six of the top dozen U.S. news sites. Videos about the late Apple co-founder also topped some rankings.

Here are the top stories on each site.

1. Yahoo

2. CNN


4. AOL

5. New York Times

6. Fox News

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ICYMI: iMemorial: Steve Jobs honored on front pages, magazine covers, news & tech websites


Jobs asked Isaacson to write bio in 2004 because ‘I wanted my kids to know me’
Walter Isaacson explains in a brief subscriber-only essay on how he came to write an authorized biography of technology icon Steve Jobs:

In the early summer of 2004, I got a phone call from him. He had been scattershot friendly to me over the years, with occasional bursts of intensity, especially when he was launching a new product that he wanted on the cover of TIME or featured on CNN, places where I’d worked. But now that I was no longer at either of those places, I hadn’t heard from him much. We talked a bit about the Aspen Institute, which I had recently joined, and I invited him to speak at our summer campus in Colorado. He’d be happy to come, he said, but not to be onstage. He wanted, instead, to take a walk so we could talk.

That seemed a bit odd. I didn’t yet know that taking a long walk was his preferred way to have a serious conversation. It turned out that he wanted me to write a biography of him. I had recently published one on Benjamin Franklin and was writing one about Albert Einstein, and my initial reaction was to wonder, half jokingly, whether he saw himself as the natural successor in that sequence. Because I assumed that he was still in the middle of an oscillating career that had many more ups and downs left, I demurred. Not now, I said. Maybe in a decade or two, when you retire.

But I later realized that he had called me just before he was going to be operated on for cancer for the first time.

Isaacson also describes the last time he saw Jobs: Read more


Ex-Gizmodo editor: I wrote my apology letter to Steve Jobs three weeks ago

The Atlantic
Brian Lam, who was editor of Gizmodo during the 2010 iPhone 4 leak saga, says that “sometimes, I wish we never found that phone at all” because in the end “it caused me a lot of grief, and stopped writing almost entirely.” He adds: “It made my spirit weak. Three weeks ago, I felt like I had had enough. I wrote my apology letter to Steve.”

Steve, a few months have passed since all that iphone 4 stuff went down, and I just wanted to say that I wish things happened differently. I probably should have quit right after the first story was published for several different reasons. I didn’t know how to say that without throwing my team under the bus, so I didn’t. Now I’ve learned it’s better to lose a job I don’t believe in any more than to do it well and keep it just for that sake.

I’m sorry for the problems I caused you.

Lam says he never expected to get a response, and he never did. “But after sending that I forgave myself. And my writer’s block lifted. I just feel lucky I had the chance to tell a kind man that I was sorry for being an asshole before it was too late.” More tributes:
Mossberg: I was fortunate to see the personal side of Jobs
Auletta: “He wasn’t a great human being, but he was a great, transformative, and historical figure”
Pogue: “The story of Steve Jobs boils down to this: Don’t go with the flow”
Biggs: Everything he touched was a masterpiece in a world where “just OK” is increasingly the norm
Obama: “He achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world” Read more


iMemorial: Steve Jobs honored on front pages, magazine covers, news & tech websites

Charles Apple interviewed designers about their Steve Jobs front pages.

Twitter streamed with tributes and websites went black to show respect for Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as word of his death spread Wednesday night.

On Thursday, magazine covers were redesigned and newspaper front pages from California to Brazil honored the 56-year-old technology innovator who changed our lives and imaginations with his inventions.

On Friday, international papers caught up to the news and used the iconic Apple logo to honor Jobs.

(Front page images below courtesy of the Newseum. Some images have been cropped.)

Based in Salvador, Brazil, Correio used an image of Steve Jobs representing a bite out of his Apple.
Paris’ Libération shows the Apple shedding its stem and a tear.
This German newspaper used an image that shone an Apple light on Jobs’ face.
This Brasilia-based paper cleverly replaced the iconic red heart with a red Apple logo.
Based in Oeiras, Portugal, “i” revived an early Apple logo, creating one of the more colorful tributes to Jobs.

Thursday papers

The Examiner used a variation on Apple’s slogan: “Think different.”
Chicago’s Red Eye let a silhouette speak.
This Brazilian paper — published in Recife, Brazil — used illustration to show Jobs’ impact.
The Maysville, Kentucky newspaper used word play in its headline to convey Jobs importance. Several other papers used the same “core” approach.
Multiple papers, like this one from Vitória, Brazil, used a variation on the name of Jobs’ most famous line of devices.
California newspapers devoted more front page space to Jobs’ life than papers in other parts of the country.
The San Jose Mercury News is in the heart of Silicon Valley, Apple’s home.
“You know, if you look at the headline of the print Wall Street Journal this morning, it just simply says Steven Paul Jobs, 1955-2011, over six columns. And we’ve been talking here on our – in our staff trying to think of who other than the president of the United States would merit a headline upon his death in The Wall Street Journal of that magnitude? And we just can’t think of anybody,” Walt Mossberg told NPR’s Guy Raz.

While journalists expressed condolences on Twitter, technology blogs and general interest websites seemed prepared for the news that Steve Jobs had died Wednesday. Boing Boing honored the digital pioneer by modeling its tribute after one of his earliest creations, while Apple honored its founder in an understated way. Fast Company used an older photo of the 56-year-old; Wired updated its home page from white to a stark black. 

Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976.
Apple changed its home page Wednesday night and replaced the simple text announcement with a photo of its leader.
Boing Boing created a home page that looked like the early Mac screen.
Wired kept it simple.
Wired updated its home page by early Thursday morning, turning it from its customary white to a solemn black and highlighting memories of Jobs.
Google had one of the most subtle tributes.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg expressed his condolences on the social network.
Fast Company
Fast Company used a photo of Jobs from Apple’s early years.
ZDNet had a slideshow of Jobs stories and images on its home page.
CNET created a visual halo effect.
Huffington Post used an animated “breaking news” globe to emphasize the top story’s importance.
CBS showed Jobs looking into the future.
AOL contrasted past with present through use of an old photo of Jobs shown on an iPhone.
People gathered across the country at Apple stores to mourn their loss together. The San Francisco Chronicle’s website showed a mourner using a Jobs invention to express grief and respect.
The Palo Alto Patch captured people outside Jobs’ home there, leaving messages of sympathy and support.
Engadget honored Steve Jobs in his own words.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek created an ad-free cover for Thursday (h/t John Koblin).
Time magazine created a gallery Wednesday with its seven covers of Jobs, from 1982 to 2010. Mike Allen reports Thursday that Time “stopped the presses on its regularly scheduled issue last night, to produce a commemorative issue with Jobs on the cover.” Time’s Tumblr shows managing editor Rick Stengel talking with staff about the issue, which includes an essay by Jobs biographer — and former Time managing editor — Walter Isaacson, whose book is now being rushed to bookstores for publication Oct. 24. It’s currently ranked #1 on Amazon.
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Media figures express sadness, appreciation after Steve Jobs’ death

It seemed like everyone heard the news at once.

As if an earthquake shook the technology world Wednesday evening, the Internet suddenly flooded with news alerts and tweets about the death of Steve Jobs.

The reactions of people in the news business ranged from sadness and appreciation to introspection about our own lives. Here’s a sampling.

Nieman Lab’s Megan Garber put together a Storify with more reactions, everyone from President Barack Obama to Google.

[View the story "Media figures react to the death of Steve Jobs" on Storify] Read more


How Steve Jobs changed (but didn’t save) journalism

Editor’s note: With news of Steve Jobs’ passing on Oct. 5, we thought it was appropriate to republish this story, written when he resigned as CEO of Apple.

Steve Jobs resigned Wednesday as CEO of Apple Inc., but his legacy will be felt in the news industry for years to come.

Steve Jobs cared about, and greatly changed, the news business.

In the past five years, Jobs’ Apple has simultaneously disrupted, transformed and aided the news industry.

It created or at least defined almost every aspect of mobile consumer technology that is now part of media’s future and its fastest-growing segment. The iPhone and iPad created inescapable trends. They were not just devices but whole new product categories and new content economies.

The iPhone was not the first smartphone. But it was the first to employ a full-face touchscreen, to decide finger taps and swipes were better than buttons, and to unleash the enormous power of third-party apps. Its largest competitors — Android and BlackBerry — have largely followed Apple’s lead in their devices and software.

The iPad was in some ways less new; it borrowed the same operating system and app environment from the iPhone. But in other ways it was entirely different — a whole new category of product between phones and laptops.

The iPad has proven to be an ideal device for long reading sessions, often at home during leisure time. As such, it is competing with print products that had served that purpose, while also offering new long-term hope of a digital transition for publishers.

Most media companies have had to bend to the market created by Apple, as 88 percent of national U.S. newspapers have an iPhone app, and most that don’t already have an iPad app are probably planning on one.

Jobs not only influenced news publishing indirectly, he also worked with publishers directly. With the debut of the iPad in 2010, Jobs personally met with executives from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, and perhaps others.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs presents the iPad at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Jobs featured The New York Times in his keynote speech debuting the iPad, but was later critical of its first app, which featured a limited “editor’s choice” of stories. Jobs planned to join Rupert Murdoch on stage for the launch of The Daily this year, but illness prevented that. He did attend an earlier News Corp. corporate retreat to discuss media-built iPad apps and called the Wall Street Journal’s iPad app slow and clunky.

The criticism may have hurt some feelings, but it also showed how much Jobs cared. Here was the CEO of Apple, not a vice president or media liaison, meeting personally with news industry leaders and urging them to create the best possible experience for this new device.

If you take him at his word, Jobs cares hugely about preserving journalism for journalism’s sake.

“Anything that we can do to help The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal find new ways of expression so they can afford to get paid, so they can afford to keep their editorial operations intact, I’m all for it,” he said at a 2010 conference.

A source told The New York Times ahead of the iPad launch that Jobs “believes democracy is hinged on a free press and that depends on there being a professional press.”

In return, much of the mainstream press took an optimistic liking to Jobs. Fortune Managing Editor Andy Serwer once called Jobs a “once-in-a-century” innovator comparable to Thomas Edison. Jobs noted in one of his own keynotes an admiring quote from Murdoch: “Here we have the man who invented the personal computer, then the laptop. He’s now destroying them. That is an amazing life.”

For as many products as Jobs helped invent at Apple, he had even more quotable public statements about innovation. A few stick out today as relevant to what people in news organizations are going through.

This, from Fortune Magazine in 1998:

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.”

On the same theme, Jobs said this to BusinessWeek in 2004:

“Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem. It’s ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who thinks he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea.

“And it comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We’re always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.”

And in 1999, as Apple was still trying to recover from its struggles of the 1990s, Jobs said something about the way forward that applies today for newspapers and other legacy media companies.

“The cure for Apple is not cost-cutting. The cure for Apple is to innovate its way out of its current predicament.”

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