Major design/technology organisations like Apple and Google tend guard their internal processes with a obsession bordering on paranoia, so it was great to see a couple of articles that shed some light on how they approach design and some of the tools they use to help them develop their ideas.
Design Processes at Apple
The first item was an extract from Michael Lopp's talk at SxSW (via Dan Saffer) which covered; pixel perfect mockups, 10 to 3 to 1, where ten design ideas are filtered to 3 and eventually to 1, paired design meetings, two weekly team meetings one for coming up with wild ideas and one for figuring out how to make the ideas work and finally pony meetings which are basically pitching the best ideas from the paired design meetings to the leadership. The concepts are covered in more detail in the Business Week article.
The great takeaway from this is the way Apple continues to provide opportunities to innovate and generate ideas right through the development process.
Google's Internal Tools
The other behind the scenes insight was from a webcast at KMWorld where Google described some of the tools they use within the company including;
- Google Projects - database of all the projects and who's working on what
- Product Snippets - possibly the most exciting innovation around aggregated reporting
- Google Ideas - brilliant ideas database
- Caribou - an internal version of Gmail
- Moma - Google's intranet including a 'find an expert' search
- Google Docs - well obviously