“One of the best pieces of advice Mickey ever gave us was to go rent a warehouse and build a prototype of a store, and not, you know, just design it, go build 20 of them, then discover it didn’t work,” says Jobs. In other words, design it as you would a product.
This is a terrific article, with a lot of insight into just how much thought went into these store designs. According to Jobs, they abandoned their first store mockup because it was organized by product, and they realized it would be better to organize it by activity. The Genius Bars are patterned after hotel concierge desks; they got the idea after asking 18 people what their best ever customer experience was, and 16 of them said it was in a hotel.