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November 15, 2014

Meeting Sir Jonathan Ive

It’s not everyday you get the opportunity to meet and speak to arguably the most important person in design at the moment, so I was very excited to be in the same room as Sir Jonathan Ive.

As an alumnus of Northumbria University, their enterprise team have been amazingly supportive of Reframed and an invite to attend their Enterprise and Innovation Dinner on 15th November, with Fellow Alumni and Guest of honour Sir Jonathan Ive, was brilliant.

Enterprise & Innovation DinnerAs Senior Vice President of Design at Apple, Jony has been integral to high quality products that made Apple’s success. Many of Apple’s products, including the MacBook Pro, iMac, MacBook Air, Mac mini, iPod, iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, Apple Watch and iOS 7, have been led by Jony. Steve Jobs considered Ive to be his “spiritual partner at Apple”.

What took me by surprise was how humble he was and grateful for the opportunities life had given him, in both education (at Northumbria) and support he had from Steve Jobs, in giving him the opportunity to build amazing products. He’s always very keen to point out that he’s part of the Apple design team and doesn’t design the products on his own.

His advice for designers: Focus! Focus on building an amazing product and don’t settle for second best.

Jony signed my iMac poster

Jony signed my iMac poster

Throughout the evening, he was so patient and generous with his time, but he particularly come alive when talking about the effect of Apple’s products on real people, such as when a child with autism had had problems communicating with their family until someone put an ipad in their hands.

Apple computers changed my life too, as an undiagnosed dyslexic, the Mac’s interface, made an almost instant connection and set me on the path to where I am today.

I left the evening feeling thoroughly inspired, with a signed iMac poster I had on my wall at uni – a great reminder to stay focused.

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