Design, He Said

Gary S. Vasilash

Sometimes there is criticism that when the next generation of a popular vehicle is revealed, the design has simply been tweaked, not transformed.

The criticism is predicated on the idea that because the predecessor was popular because it was transformational vis-à-vis its predecessor, further, radical, change would probably be a good thing.

Arguably, the last three generations of the Chevrolet Malibu can make this point. Here are the 2004, 2008 and 2013 versions of the car.

2004 Malibu


2008 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ


2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ


From 2004 to 2008, a huge difference. Not a great deal between the last and the current models.

But here’s part of what Jony Ive, senior vp of Design at Apple, said about the design of the iPhone 5, a phone that has been criticized in some corners for not being a New, New Thing:

“When you think about your iPhone, it’s probably the object that you use most in your life. It’s the product that you have with you all the time. With this unique relationship that people have with their iPhone, we take changing it really seriously. We don’t just want to make a new phone. We want to make a much better phone.”

Better is important. Not different.


iPhone 5