目前在網路上對Apple產品的介紹與討論都非常的多,不過對於Apple的工業設計,或是說Apple產品設計的理念等資訊並不常在以Mac、iPod、iPhone等Apple產品為主題的網站中出現。

本文節錄了由Gary Hustwit執導,以工業設計為主題的紀錄片「Objectified」中,採訪現任Apple工業設計部門的副總裁,同時也是目前Apple最重要的工業設計師Jonathan Ive講述Apple產品設計理念的部分。

翻譯此文的目的並不是在宣揚Apple的設計就是好的,雖然Apple的工業設計能力已經被業界公認,不過在現實中並沒有「完美的設計」存在,Apple的設計也不見得都是「好的設計」(事實上問題還真的不少…)。只是希望能讓大家了解Apple的設計在一些細節上的努力,以及「為什麼」這些產品會被設計成目前大家所看到的樣子。

如果有興趣的話,「Objectified」目前可以在iTunes Store上購買,不過在網路上找找也是有免錢的可以看啦…

以下為本文,翻譯的不是很順就是了…Orz

I remember the first time I saw an Apple product.

我記得第一次看到一件蘋果產品時的情景。

I remember it so clearly because it was the first time I realized, when I saw this product,I got a very clear sense of the people who designed it and made it.

我記得非常清楚,因為那是我第一次意識到,當我看到這個產品時,我能明顯地感覺到設計與製造它的人。

A big definition of who you are as a designer is the way that you look at the world.

定義你是一個怎樣的設計師在於你如何看待這個世界。 > And I guess it’s one of the curses of what you do, you’re constantly looking at something and thinking,

我想這就是驅使你做事的原因之一,你不斷地觀察某件事物並思考著…

why is it like that? Why is it like that and not like this?

為甚麼它是那個樣子?為甚麼它是那樣而不是這樣?

And so in that sense, you’re constantly designing.

從這個觀點來看,你可以不斷地進行設計。

初代iMac與目前的iMac

When we’re designing a product, we have to look to different attributes of the product,and some of those attributes will be the materials it’s made from, and the form that’s connected to those materials.

設計一件產品時,我們必須著眼於產品的不同屬性。而其中的幾個屬性是用來製造它的材質,以及各材質間連結的形式。

So for example with the first iMac that we made, the primary component of that was the cathode ray tube, which was spherical. We would have an entirely different approach to designing something like that, than the current iMac, which is a very thin flat-panel display.

以我們製作的第一代iMac為例子,它的主要零件是陰極射線管(CRT),它是球面的。與現在採用薄型平面螢幕的iMac相比,我們使用了完全不同的方法來設計。

iPhone

Other issues would be, just physically how do you connect to the product, so for example with something like the iPhone, everything defers to the display.A lot of what we seem to be doing in a product like that is getting design out of the way.

另一個問題是,在現實中你如何與產品聯繫。以iPhone為例,一切都以螢幕為主。似乎我們在這類產品上所做的大部分是「讓設計走開」。

And I think when forms develop with that sort of reason, and they’re not just arbitrary shapes, it feels almost inevitable, it feels almost un-designed. It feels almost like, well of course it’s that way, why wouldn’t it be any other way.

我想當造型以這些理由來發展時,它們就不會只是一個武斷的造型。感覺上它幾乎是必然的結果,幾乎沒有被設計過。似乎理所當然地就是這個樣子,它怎麼還能是其他樣子呢?

MacBook Air 背後的工藝

There is just a remarkable efficiency and beauty to how much a single part can do.We push and push ourselves on is trying to figure out, can we do the job of those six parts with just one.

單一零件所能發揮的功能極限,造就了非比尋常的效率與美感。我們不斷地問自己,是否能用一個零件來取代那六個?

This part actually starts off as this extrusion, this is an aluminum extrusion that goes through multiple operations, most of them CNC machined operations, to end up…to end up with this part. And you can see, just a dramatic transformation between this raw blank and the final part.

這個零件一開始是一個鋁塊沖壓成形的零件,經過了多道加工程序,大部分是CNC(Computer Numerical Control)機械加工,最後的成品就是這個部分。你可以看到,從粗胚到最終成品之間產生了戲劇性的變化。

But what we end up with,is a part that’s got all of the mounting features, all of the bosses… this is just one part, but this one part is providing so much functionality. And this one part really does enable this product.

最後我們得到的,是一個有全部固定功能與支柱的零件。只有一個零件,卻包含了這麼多的功能性。正是這一個零件造就了這個產品。

So much of the effort behind a product like the MacBook Air was experimenting with different processes. There’s a… it’s completely non-obvious, but the way that you hold… to get from this part, to this part… there’s an incredibly complex series of fixtures to hold this part in the different machine stages.And we end up spending a lot of time designing fixtures.The design of this, in many ways wasn’t the design of a physical thing, it was figuring out process.

像MacBook Air這樣的產品背後,是如此多努力的結果。其中試驗了許多不同的處理流程,完全不起眼。從這塊零件到成品之間的各種不同的機械流程,需要一系列複雜到難以置信的夾具來固定。到最後我們花費了大量時間在設計這些夾具上。在這部分的設計,從許多方面來講並不是在設計一個具體的東西,而是在重塑流程。

指示燈

It’s really important in a product to have a sense of a hierarchy of what’s important and what’s not important, by removing those things that are all vying for your attention. An indicator has a value when it’s indicating something. But if it’s not indicating something, it shouldn’t be there. It’s one of those funny things, you spend so much time to make it less conspicuous and less obvious.

對一個產品非常關鍵的是,藉由去除會干擾注意力的東西來了解哪些層面是重要的,哪些是不重要的。一個指示燈在傳達某些事物時是有用處的。但是,如果它沒有在傳達些什麼,它就不因該存在。這是一件很有趣的事,你花費了那麼多的時間來使它更低調、更不明顯。

And if you think about it so many of the products that we’re surrounded by, they want you to be very aware of just how clever the solution was.When the indicator comes on, I wouldn’t expect anybody to point to that as a feature, but at some level I think you’re aware of a calm and considered solution, that therefore speaks about how you’re going to use it, not the terrible struggles that we as designers and engineers had in trying to solve some of the problems. That’s quite obsessive, isn’t it?

如果你回想環繞在周遭的許多產品,它們希望你注意到他們的解決方案是多麼地高明。我並不期望有人去注意並當成是一種特色。但是在某種程度上,我想你會意識到這是一個冷靜而且深思熟慮的答案,以這種方式來向使用者訴說如何去使用它,而不是像設計師與工程師在試著解決問題時的那種極端的努力。挺強迫症的,不是嗎?

from Objectified