Apple Designer Moves to GoPro
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Published on April 22, 2016
Additional evidence showing the importance of design and UX in modern businesses surfaced this week as the action video camera company GoPro hired a key designer from Apple. The move caused a rapid spike in GoPro’s stock as investors viewed the hiring as an indicator of future success. The designer, Danny Coster, worked as part of the design team at Apple and had more than two decades of experience the company. While at Apple he worked on products such as the iPhone and iMac. At GoPro he will report directly to the CEO, Nick Woodman.
While Koster may not have the name recognition of Jony Ive at Apple, his 20 years of experience working on some of the most successful tech products ever provides faith that he will be able to bring new life to GoPro through product design and user experience. According to GoPro Koster "will influence all aspects of design at GoPro in his new role, including hardware and software and services, lending his strategic vision and expertise to maximizing the GoPro user’s experience from end to end.” The design role clearly includes both video cameras themselves and also software used for editing and sharing video. The move by GoPro emphasizes the value of UX on products and services emphasized in UX workshops.
The company is looking to pair industrial design with user experience (UX) design improvements. GoPro has previously indicated their desire to improve the user experience for video editing, with CEO Woodman stating that editing needs to be made easier for customers, describing the current video editing process as a dark forest. To achieve this they have acquired technology companies that offer more automated video editing, spending more than $100 million on the acquisitions. They are also releasing several new products including a 360-degree camera, a stereo camera that supports VR, a drone equipped with a camera, and a high-end flagship camera
By placing a designer with a background in UX and product design in a key role, both the company and Wall Street appear more confident that the company will produce great products in the years to come.
About the author
Jennifer Smith is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices.
Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern Windows UX Design, having worked closely with the Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, Blend for Visual Studio, and Balsamiq.