Simplicity: my very own state of mind

When we create digital interfaces, simplicity is a constant issue.

What is simple and what is not? How do we take into account simplicity in our everyday lives?

Personally, I like to think of one of my great examples, John Maeda.

Here’s his analogy, in two steps: 

Step 1: ask a child to choose between a large cookie and a small one. Which one do you think he will choose?

Simplicity - Which cookie will a child choose

Even if you explain to the child there is more chocolate in the small cookie, he or she will still prefer the larger one. 

Step 2: ask a child which pile of dirty laundry he wants to sort. Which one will he choose?

Simplicity - Which pile will a child choose

He will prefer the smaller one as it represents less work. 

Observation: when you want to have fun, you always want more. When an effort is needed, you will try to optimize your energy in order not to have to make too big an effort. 

Simplicty - Want More Want Less

Here’s my state of mind when I’m creating digital interfaces: you have a simple interface when users can perform their tasks with a maximum of fun and a minimum of effort. 

Simplicity - definition

A simple sentence that reveals all the concepts of human behaviour: from the motivational drivers to the capabilities of perception and cognition the brain will attribute to perform a certain task. 

3 Comments

  • I’m a lifelong proponent of SIMPLE. I know some people who can function amid clutter but for me, visual clutter forces my brain to shut down. That’s one reason I’m so intriqued by iPhone apps. In one sense, the iPhone platform forces the developer to simplify, to distill their interfaces down to their component parts. Some are better than others, but for the most part, they are quickly grasped and easily navigated.

  • Simplicity is never the goal, the most important thing here is the user.

    always design for the user.

    Here it is THE KID , If the same above question is asked to an adult he may choose completely different answers. So whenever design an interface make sure you understand your user need and the context.

  • Another way of looking at simplicity is giving someone exactly what they need. No more. No less.

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