Jennifer Brook may be one of the most interesting people in the world. Jennifer among many other things, was the lead designer on the first New York times iPad app. She had the amazing opportunity to go to Apple to see, and use the first iPad before it was introduced by Steve Jobs.
Q. What was it like working on the first New York Times iPad app?
A. Exciting, exhausting, humbling. We didn't have pattern libraries to reference or an existing user base to study, just a blank black glossy screen staring back at us. So we started with existing patterns of behavior and built a story around context of use. From there we decided our goal was to create a calm application for reading and contemplation. Calmness being a human need that existing digital products were not great at fulfilling.
Q. What, in your opinion, does the future of journalism look like?
A. I'm not much of a futurist but do think we live in amazing times. Proof: I'm being interviewed by a eighth grader.
Q. What was it like to get a sneak peek at the first iPad?
A. Intense and awesome, like being let in on a juicy secret. But because it was such a sensitive launch, we had to wait until the Keynote, like everyone else, to see most of the product revealed.
Q. What is your favorite part of Apple?
A. Being surrounded by a team of people whose singular goal was to make an amazing product. The clarity of vision and unrelenting supportiveness we experienced while there requires a kind of rare leadership that I feel honored to have experienced.
Q. If I gave you a blank plane ticket where would you go and why?
A. Funny you should ask. I have a blank plane ticket in my hand and am going to take the next few months to travel. Originally I wanted to fly to Helsinki and travel on the Trans-Mongolian railway from Moscow to Beijing. But after a little research, have decided to fly to Beijing or Shanghai. From there I'll either hop on a train heading north into Mongolia or south into Vietnam. The plan for my travel is to not have a plan, to simply arrive and see where the next two and a half months will take me.
One awesome person if you ask me! I am still awed by the fact that Jennifer got to see such a revolutionary product before basically anyone else. Here is the desktop wallpaper I design for Jennifer. You may buy it here