In a post on Microsoft’s Xbox news site, Xbox Wire, a handful of designers who worked on the new Xbox One controller discussed the “holistic perspective” they approached its design with.
“We wanted to think from a holistic perspective,” said Xbox One creative director of design Ramiro Torres. “When designing anything on Xbox, you have to consider everything from the way the hardware and user interface looks, to the way the box and branding is expressed. Everything has a role in the way you experience a brand.”
The post describes color as one of the core tenants of design, and wanted the new Xbox One brand to be recognized with “the blackest black creditable.” Essentially, Microsoft wanted their all-in-one entertainment machine to melt into the background, bringing media content—games, television, movies, et cetera—to the foreground. This design approach influenced every aspect of the console and the controller, including the face buttons, where were redesigned to appear as if floating “on a sea of rich, liquid black.”
The Xbox One controller’s design was an iterative development process, the post describes, with teams improving and bettering each step until, eventually, becoming the final product revealed May 21st.
“We’re like a race car pit crew,” said Microsoft designer Carl Ledbetter. “Everyone has their own very important job, but we’re all working right next to each other as a team to win the race.
“Many people may not notice some of the small design touches, but we take pride in our craftsmanship in making sure everything is perfect. We want to create something that is exciting and will please our customers, both old and new. Nailing every last detail is critical.”