Based on materials from Google Blog
Design is the most controversial and subjective aspect of any device. As for the devices that Google produces, this statement is doubly relevant. The company is constantly criticized, users are sure that since it got involved in the 'iron' race, then you should expect bright products from it, whose appearance will match its ambitions. Let's see what happens over time, but for now – a little conversation with the person responsible for the current design of Google devices. Ivy Ross talks about her approach to work and what inspires her in life.
How would you explain what you do to someone outside the industry?
I lead the team that shapes Google's products – including Google Home, Pixel laptops, and wearables. We decide how they will look, feel and work when your hands fall.
What advice would you give to other women looking to pursue a career?
Follow the dictates of your heart and mind without fear, and bring more beauty to the world.
Which woman influenced you the most?
My daughter. Seeing the world through her eyes at different stages of her life, I can look at a lot of what I do, unclouded, with a 'beginner's look'.
Who did you want to be as a child?
I've always wanted to be a designer, to create something. My father, who influenced me a lot, was an industrial designer and built the house where I grew up – and this house was so far ahead of its time that it was used to shoot Andy Warhol's film in the late 70s.
When I was 12, I made a dress using the chain mail technique and put it on for my bat mitzvah. I have connected thousands of metal squares, designed a necklace for a dress, made the same bag in a set. Even then, I was thinking about convenience! In case the dress ripped, I had a screwdriver, not a thread and a needle.
Ivy in her homemade dress (the screwdriver was not included in the frame)
What habit helps you succeed?
Trust your instincts for both people and ideas.
How is hardware development different from software development?
Unlike software, hardware cannot be fixed with a new release or update. You need more time because when something is ready, you can change very little.
What is the most important principle in Google device design?
Man. I mean that the device should be friendly, emotionally attractive and comfortable in life and at home. I'm sure the more time we sit in front of flat screens, the more we need soft and tactile 3D shapes. This is embodied in fabrics in the Home Mini, Home Max and Daydream View, Pixel textures, and soft silicone that touches your wrist as you type on the PixelBook.
What innovations in this year's product line are you particularly proud of?
It was not easy to use fabric in the Home Mini. In order to combine simplicity of form with excellent sound, a special design was required. What looks simple is the hardest thing to do! I am proud that we managed to create beautiful things without compromising their functionality.
Where do you find inspiration?
I don't spend a lot of time looking at other electronics — no more than it takes to understand the market. You can't create anything new by limiting your horizons to your own product category, so I look for inspiration in art, materials, furniture, music, nature and people. My father taught me how to see more in things than lies on the surface.
You are also a successful jewelry designer, and your achievements for a young age are quite impressive. What have you learned in this area?
Having seen my works in museums around the world at the age of 25, I realized that we do not live for the sake of an ultimate goal, but for the sake of a path full of adventure, which we walk hand in hand with other people.