My Favorite Steve Jobs Quotes on Design and Simplicity

Welcome to day three of my four day homage to the genius of Steve Jobs. If you’d like some motivation to be more innovative and creative, you’ll want to listen to and apply Steve’s thoughts about design and simplicity.

Note: If you didn’t read Day One on Life and Work or Day Two on Innovation and Creativity, just click on the appropriate links.

“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

“Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.”

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

“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”

“A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.”

“Ultimately, it comes down to taste. It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then try to bring those things in to what you’re doing. Picasso had a saying: good artists copy, great artists steal. And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas, and I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians and poets and artists and zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world.”

In light of what you just read, what will you do differently today?

To your accelerated success!