At Apple’s developers conference last year, it showed a video before it introduced its radical new design for iOS, the operating system for iPhones and iPads.
The video centered around the theme that “there are a thousand no’s for every yes” when Apple designs its products.
The video implied that even though there are thousands of ideas flowing through Apple when it creates new stuff, it’s incredibly picky about what it ends up producing.
That’s always been a common theme for Apple when it designs its products. The theory is “we know what’s best for the user” and that’s what the user gets. It’s also part of the reason why the iPhone is still much smaller than its top competitors and why it took so long to finally release an iPad Mini. Apple likes to take its time perfecting a concept before it releases it to the public.
Meanwhile, Apple’s biggest rival in mobile devices, Samsung, is often criticised for seemingly never saying no. Instead, it seems like Samsung is willing to try anything and everything when designing products and hoping something sticks. It then tries to perfect what works in the next model. Last year’s flagship Galaxy S4 phone, which came with a bunch of features like touchless gestures and a zillion different camera modes that frustrated users, is a perfect example.
So, the question is, why does Samsung try to pack so much into its hardware and software design while its competitors like Apple and HTC stick to what they know?
In an interview with Business Insider, Samsung’s software and design team explained that it takes a lot of user feedback and market research into account when designing its products. For example, even though critics often blast Samsung for building its flagship phones like the new Galaxy S5 out of plastic, the design team thinks it’s more important to give the user the option to have a removeable battery and expandable storage than it is to have a unibody phone like the devices Apple and HTC make.
“There is a philosophy in Samsung that says we start from the consumers and incorporate the future in it,” said Samsung’s design boss, executive vice president Donghoon Chang in an interview. “Whether you do market research or design and offer that is up to the company. Ultimately, the goal of a product that goes to the market is to offer value to the consumers.”
Those are two very different design philosophies. On one end of the spectrum there’s Apple, which thinks it knows what’s best for the user. On the other end, there’s Samsung, which heavily weighs what the customer wants before designing a product.
Disclosure: Samsung paid for a portion of our trip to South Korea for this story, including the flight and some meals. Business Insider paid for lodging and all other expenses.
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