The Apple Design Project 1992-1997: A Retrospective

Harry Saddler, Xerox PARC

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University January 30, 1998


The Apple Design Project was begun in 1992 as a working collaboration between Apple Computer's Advanced Technology Group and universities, colleges, and design institutes worldwide. The goals of the project have been to help instigate and improve curricula in user-centered design, encourage the collaboration of engineering, design, and other disparate academic disciplines, and expose designers and others at Apple to the ideas and energy of the students and faculty in these innovative programs.

After completing its sixth year, in July 1997, the project was discontinued due to the demise of the Advanced Technology Group. But the experience of the project lives on -- in the design programs of over two dozen schools, in the ongoing work of over 1,200 former students, and in the lessons carried forward by the (then-) Apple design staff that made this collaboration happen year after year.

In this presentation and discussion, we'll sample the best and most interesting of the student work, sharing the sense of innovation, inspiration and incredulity it's given us, and ensuring that this chapter in our collective history doesn't pass by unrecognized.


HARRY SADDLER is a user experience designer, until recently with the User Experience Research group within Apple's Advanced Technology Group. He has been designing software user interfaces, interactive instructional products, multimedia, and commercial software since 1978.


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