"Stealing" an insight from Jony Ive
Taking a page (ironically?) from Steve Jobs to get this post about Jony Ive started.
We draw inspiration for products from everywhere, everything, every one. YouTube videos, books, podcasts, kickstarter campaigns, people we meet, places we travel, shows we see, restaurants we experience...
A book I was reading about Jony Ive a few years ago I learnt about his early days as a product designer. How his first couple products were a wallet and pen. Naturally, I was intrigued by his wallet (have never found an image of it but would love if someone can find one!) The wallet was a challenge we took on as well and with perseverance came to several satisfying iterations over the years.
I was particularly inspired by the pen he designed though and the insight he had with how people tend to fidget...
Fast forward, and with the spinner craze of 2017 taking the world (and outer space) by storm, we tried our design minds at creating our own.
This process quickly shed light on how much we fidget. I suddenly noticed I would pick up random things off my desk and fiddle with them (pens, erasers, paper clips, etc etc) Realizing the many ways fidgeting can be done. And drawing more inspiration from a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, we continued to expand our minds to address various forms of fidgeting so that maybe one day we could create "the ultimate high performance focus tool." Why such a name? Because it evolved beyond the craze of spinners and cubes, we dug into the depths of what it means to think, to do deep work. To maintain momentum and remain on task without getting sucked into the deep dopamine depths of Instagram addiction. A battle that must be won every time any kind of focused effort must be executed and maintained. In today's day and age, we need all the tools to stay focused we can get our hands on.
I digress though, just read this read this article and find this excerpt:
Jony Ive designed a pen that seemed very normal on the surface. It was white in colour of course – white is supposed to be his favourite color. It was made of white plastic and had rubber-like rivets on the side. And well, it wrote on paper.
What made it special was something that had absolutely nothing to do with writing. And everything to do with human behaviour. Ive had noticed that people tended to play around and fidget with their pens even when not writing with them – they would twirl them, tap them, click them and so on.
So what he built into the pen was what would be later called the “fiddle factor.” On top of the pen he had designed, he placed a ball and clip mechanism. It served no purpose as far as writing went. It just gave the user something to play with!
There's more research out about how 'fiddling' or 'fidgeting' actually helps with ADD and ADHD which goes beyond just play but really digs into helping adults and kids stay more fundamentally focused.