Steve Jobs turned up in London last week for EMI’s announcement that they were breaking ranks with the other record labels to drop DRM copy protections on music.
The press conference and informal chat afterwards was my first encounter with Jobs, who turned out to be less Californian than I imagined: More active and sharper tongued than expected.
By far the most memorable thing he described was Apple’s balancing of products between simplicity and freedom.
If you give the consumers too much freedom, they are overwhelmed by choice and confusion. If you limit their freedom by too much simplicity, they feel constricted, Jobs said.
You can see the use of design to bring simplicity in so many of their products. The trick is selecting the right places to restrict consumer options.