Product design Stories July 29, 2014

Much of Tesla’s UI design team comes from Apple (Video)

Javier Verdura, Director of Product Design and Project Management for Tesla Motors pulls back the curtain on Tesla design during a recent RKS Sessions design talk. While the talk and Q&A is mostly focused on the physical design of the vehicles,Verdura answers a question about the GUI design briefly at 29:14, queued above, in which he notes that Tesla’s UI design team is largely made up of Apple alumni.

Verdura next talks about the design process and how everything goes through CEO Elon Musk at the end – something that should remind people of how Steve Jobs’ Apple worked.

Whole talk here.

Product design Stories October 16, 2012

iFixit’s Kyle Wiens disputes EPEAT certification of Retina MacBook Pro

Apple was just given the EPEAT Gold certification for the Retina MacBook Pro after reversing its decision to withdraw its products from the green computer registry. Today, iFixit’s Kyle Wien has a few strong words about the MacBook Pro’s Gold certification. He claimed the decision “demonstrates that the EPEAT standard has been watered down to an alarming degree”:

With the Retina MacBook Pro, EPEAT felt there were three specific concerns about the product design that merited further investigation… On the surface, it seems that a product assembled with proprietary screws, glued-in hazardous batteries, non-upgradeable memory and storage, and several large, difficult-to-remove circuit boards would fail all three tests…But it’s not that simple…. 

Apple’s MacBook Pro with Retina display is not repairable, it’s not upgradeable, and it’s not easy to disassemble for recycling. Yet it is EPEAT Gold. The Product Verification Committee’s decision essentially greenwashes the Retina.

Go to iFixit to read Kyle’s full post about how the MacBook pro was able to get verified EPEAT Gold. 

Product design Stories July 20, 2012

Facebook snatches up Mac and iOS developer Acrylic Software

Mac and iOS developer Acrylic Software just announced that Facebook has acquired it. Founder Dustin Mcdonald unveiled the news on Acrylic’s blog:

  • Our Next Project: Facebook
  • I’m happy to announce today that we’ve packed up our small Vancouver studio and will be making the move to San Francisco in the coming weeks to join the design team at Facebook.
  • For the past four years, we’ve worked tirelessly on creating truly awesome products with a focus on innovation and great design, and I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve been able to accomplish during that time. Our flagship apps, Wallet and Pulp, have been used and loved by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Building these products has been a fun and exciting ride, but the time has come to move on to newer and bigger challenges.
  • Facebook is an invaluable service that we all use daily, and a company I believe is one of the most innovative and important around today. After visiting late last year, I discovered that we shared many of the same core product design goals and principles, and it soon became obvious that it was a natural fit. Simply put, there’s an opportunity at Facebook to have a big impact in many people’s lives. More importantly, Facebook is full of extremely talented people who will be able to help realize its full potential in the years to come.
  • Our products and services have not been acquired by Facebook, and while there are no plans for further development on them, Wallet and Pulp will continue to remain available for download and purchase in their current form. We’ll certainly be the first to let you know of any updates or changes here in the future.
  • A special thanks to all of our customers and supporters who have helped us grow and build the best products possible throughout the last four years. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without you.
  • Dustin MacDonald
  • Acrylic Software

Acrylic Software is located in Vancouver, Canada, and its most notable products include Pulp and Wallet. Pulp presents news feeds in a clean, fresh UI for easy scanning through headlines, previews, and photos on a Mac or iPad, while Wallet allows users to track their sensitive information, such as web passwords, software license keys, credit card numbers, also on a Mac or iOS device.

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