Do you have an AirPod or have you interacted with one? I got gifted one a while ago and there are two generally small things that I keep noticing every time I use them. One is positive and one is negative, and it happens so frequently that it has always stayed wandering in my head. So I investigated a little bit, which is just fancy for “googled it”. To my surprise, I found an actual quote from Jony Ive (former Chief Design Officer at Apple) addressing both.

Apple Airpods Generation 1

The first is the snap or clicking noise it makes when it closes. It is kind of unique and noticeable, almost as if the device was saying “Hey! I am closed and I want you to know it.” Here is Jony Ive talking about it.

“When you are going to have objects that are inherently very mechanical, I think that it’s so important that you pay attention to all aspects of the design. There is color and form and the overall sort of architecture, but then those more difficult-to-define and concept behaviors, like the noise of a click and the force of a magnet that draws something closed,” says Ive.

The second thing that is quite noticeable is putting the AirPods back in the case. Fifty percent of the time you get it wrong. There is just something about it that does not quite click with storing them, you end up putting the right one on the left side and the left one on the right. It sounds feeble-minded but just happens quite a lot. And here is what Jony Ive said about that:

“I mean, for example, one of the things that we struggled with was the way that the case orients the AirPod as you put them in. I love those details, that you’ve had no idea how fabulously we got that wrong, for so long, as we were designing and developing it. When you get them right I think they don’t demand a lot from you but they contribute far more than people are necessarily aware for your sense of joy and using a product.”

All said and done, it is another great and successful product that got eagerly adopted by the consumers.

Full GQ interview with Jony Ive 
Image by Alison Benz

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