Two ‘simple’ guys

David Robinson

Previous employee

Two of my favourite designers, Sir Jonathan Ive KBE and Marc Newson CBE, sat down with Charlie Rose (US talk show host) last night to discuss their charity auction. The duo have collaborated with musician and philanthropist Bono to organize a (RED) auction of over 40 different items, from chairs, to cars, to Apple products. The auction has now ended raising about $13 million for charity.

The interview provides a fascinating insight into the duo’s design vision and their obsession with perfection but what struck me most was how relevant their approach is to medical product development. When developing a product it’s easy to be seduced into adding more features, more functions, more feedback and more everything. It’s easy to think that ‘adding’ to a product might make it better. However, the opposite is true. Adding creates complexity and as a result confusion.

When developing medical products ‘simplicity’ must be our mantra. Not simplicity as an aesthetic but as the result of removing any unnecessary features and functions that distract from the product’s intended use.

“Simplicity is refining and being able to define the very essence of what something does, and therefore you understand what it is and you understand what it does….but simplicity for us, it’s not just the absence of clutter, it’s not just stuff that’s not there, it’s this tremendous gravity to trying to find that very simple solution.” – Jony Ive

Designers like Jony Ive and Marc Newson understand the value of simplicity. They have transformed companies with their approach to simplicity and we can do the same. At Team we believe in the value of simplicity and will continue to bash our designs with the ‘simple stick’.

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