My class will be visiting Apple and I am very excited as I am huge fan of Apple UX.

What are some good questions to make the most of the visit?

Note: We will meet Jobs, but I am not sure if we will be able to ask him questions.

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    This is really not the appropriate place to ask this question. Apr 27 '11 at 15:28
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    @Patrick - What value does this have to the UX community as a whole? Is someone going to come here, read this question and get any value out of it? No, not really. It's also a subjective question (and not a "great subjective question", since that's often a criteria used for subjective questions here). It is also way too vague - "visiting Apple" doesn't say anything as to who they will see and what they will actually be doing. And it is also too localized. In fact, other than "Duplicate Question", every "Close" reason applies to this question. Apr 27 '11 at 15:59
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    Yet, it has 3 answers and 6 votes so far and people are engaged in it. Sounds like a good question to me. This question is useful for when you are interviewing for a UX position. You might ask similar questions of how the company does things.
    – Glen Lipka
    Apr 27 '11 at 16:16
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    @Charles I don't think the question is inviting discussion; he's asking for specific questions to ask. Also, I take "how people respond to the question" into account when I decide whether to close. Apparently you think we shouldn't do that, which is fine. That might be a good topic to bring up on Meta or Chat. Apr 27 '11 at 17:53
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    "Apple does not sell UX." Uh...UX is the only thing apple sells.
    – DA01
    Apr 29 '11 at 13:14

Apple is making quite a few UI changes to their applications in their upcoming OS 10.7 Lion release, which might be a good thing to talk about.

Sample questions:

  • How did they come to the decision to make their desktop apps more like their mobile versions, and what have they learned from the process?
  • What are the basic UI/UX rules that all of their applications & interfaces must adhere to?
  • What is their general process for wireframing and designing? How do they iterate?
  • What is their view on implementing feedback from users? Should we stick to our vision or be more reactive to feedback?
  • How do they test their UI designs before release?

I hope you get the chance to have real conversations with them!

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    Thank you! This is exactly the kind of questions I was looking for. I will write up the responses I get post them here.
    – jonshariat
    Apr 27 '11 at 16:16
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    @jon Great! Your blog is probably a better home for the responses, but please post a link here. :-) Apr 27 '11 at 18:12
  • @jon Can't wait to hear about your visit. Thanks for sharing the visit with us.
    – wnathanlee
    Apr 29 '11 at 13:34
  • @jonshariat When you get answer of these question back from apple. then kindly update us, what they say.
    – Pir Abdul
    Jun 25 '11 at 10:52

Will you be meeting any designers? I think generally good design is a mix of training and art--so you might want to ask questions that try to get to the heart of who these people are.

For example:

  • where do you turn for design inspiration?
  • how do you know when you've got it right?
  • what's the hardest part of doing design?

Hope that's a good start...

  • I want to know more about how I can create better UX and UI. For some reason I have a block on what questions to ask. What about UX and UI questions?
    – jonshariat
    Apr 27 '11 at 3:51

Question: Many of Apples designs are based on restrictions and limiting design choices to the simplest and most convenient products and software. This is often in contrast to competitors products and actually viewed as a "disadvantage" to Apple products. Explain why you think these restrictions often lead to superior products and how important the influence of restraint and refined design ultimately lead to success.

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    Thank you, thats a great question. Actually, thats the first question im going to ask. Its such a different approach and annoys some but UX wise it is extremely interesting. Also I appreciate the support.
    – jonshariat
    Apr 27 '11 at 21:09

Two questions for me:

  1. How do you show your designs to engineers?
  2. Please demonstrate an example of that? (show docs or whatever they do)

At first, I thought "Show us a design document!" but then I realized they may not use design docs at all and might pair program with engineers and not have documents at all, who knows?! So the essence of the query is, "Demonstrate the process".

It will answer tons of questions to watch them do their job. (Rather than ask them to talk about them doing their job)


ok--I thought about it a bit more.

I suppose to really learn all tricks and tips could take years. But if you can just ask one question, what about "what are the basic design principles that are the foundation for your UI designs?" I believe they may have a few answers. The follow up question might be "Where do I go to learn more?" I.e. where can I go to build my own set of design principles/rules or where did you go to learn them?

Just to reiterate: I believe good UI design is partly following the rules and partly being a good artist. Even if you don't have the artist part down, learning the design principles/rules will take you a long way!


I'd ask employees what they see as the biggest contrast in process/methodology between the Apple way and the ways they've experienced at other organizations.

I'd ask Steve what is plans are for cryogenic preservation so that we can be assured that Apple will be able to remain innovative for centuries to come.

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    :-) And I'd certainly try to talk to Jonathan Ive while you're there.
    – PhillipW
    Apr 27 '11 at 21:46
  • There're rumors that Ive may be heir to the throne when Jobs leaves. I have no idea how realistic that is, but he's likely the closest to Jobs' design process than anyone else.
    – DA01
    Apr 29 '11 at 13:18

Another Question: Apple employs a heavily regulated system in regards to the apps that are available in their app store. Their main competition however does not, and allows everything in, regardless of security issues how potentially distasteful the app may be (Dog Wars for example). With the rise of computers controlling cars, and entering many new areas that they once had little or no place in, what are the fears, if any, of an open/minimally regulated system? Does a heavily regulated "closed" system prevent hackers and exploits?


I'd really care about what tools do they use during each process of creating a product, from sketching to low,mideum and high fidelity prototypes, and digital, how do they handle user testing notes, and do they conduct focus group discussions?

And also ask for cognitive physiology resources they learn from, because you know, Apple has e most aggressive UX team, it feels like they they get the user testing observations and recreate a new product in contrary to what people say or act during a test. they have a strong cognitive physiology base and i would really love to know how to get there.

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