Apple’s head designer, Jony Ive, oftentimes talks about how one of their biggest goals is to make new technology feel familiar. How they bring in familiar metaphors from other places.
A great example were the candy colored iMacs. They used translucent and colorful plastics to transform a PC, something that used to be boring and daunting, into something playful, approachable, friendly. These objects deliberately trigger associations with toys, candy, artsy glass vases. This puts the “YA” in MAYA.
Apple designers go the other way too: the all white iPod deliberately looked like something from a 70s science fiction movie. They plug into our collective memory, to subconsciously say: “This thing is from the future. You’ve been waiting for this since you were a kid.” Note the paradox: it feels familiar because we all have seen things that look similar in space movies. But it feels like the future for the same reason.