When I was five years old, my parents brought home an Apple IIe for the summer (they were teachers, and the school had no security during breaks). It changed my life, and made me fall in love with technology. And years later, when I first used a Macintosh at my uncle’s house, I fell in love with design. For a painfully shy middle class kid growing up in rural Alabama, the possibility of me growing up to become a technologist and designer was remote. But Apple’s example of good design and good taste inspired me to learn about subjects for which I had no teachers. And it’s where I came to appreciate the way design can dissolve the barrier between people and technology that they instinctively fear.
Every designer of my generation owes Steve Jobs a huge debt, one we can repay by creating work that would have withstood his intense scrutiny. Though I never worked for him, I’ve applied that test to my work throughout my career, and it’s one I’ll continue to use as long as these hands are still designing.