The Utopian UI Architect

Really interesting short interview-cum-essay by John Pavlus:

“I said, ‘What is this?’ and they said, ‘We don’t know yet,’” [Bret] Victor recalls. “It was an early prototype of the [iPad] hardware. Maybe twenty other people in the world knew about it. Nobody had answers. My job was to try to figure it out.”

Victor spent the next two months making “an app every week, explor[ing] new UI ideas” as part of a three-person “internal R&D prototyping group” that Apple had assembled. Soon, Victor says, the iPad became “a real project” and his group was reassigned to tinker with other experimental hardware. “Everyone [at Apple] was focused on the next product release, what needed to happen six months from now,” he says. “We were the ones looking at what could happen five or ten years from now.”