Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!


August 07, 2008

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Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!
~ Henry David Thoreau

In the high tech world of web design, everything moves fast. Projects are on tight deadlines. Technologies change and converge. Our lives are pretty busy too. Moore’s Law seems to affect more than technology. While our future depends on sophisticated technology, it doesn’t mean that it must have a complex outcome. We design and plan use cases and scenarios for experienced users, and end up complicating our designs with fringe cases and feature creep. We may be designing an advanced application, but it can still have a simple user experience.

No wonder users are frustrated by our best intentions. They crave simple experiences, easy to learn applications: a few steps, minimal instructions, obvious designs. “Don’t make me think.” And yet we (as designers) still assume that they (as users) are savvy enough to figure it out. When dealing with a complex project, it’s important to relax, take a step back, look at it from a different perspective, and remember Thoreau’s watchword: Simplicity.