How can you define something that is simple? Simplicity is indeed an abstract term.
Let’s have a look at some dictionaries, those works that since the 17th century have done an incredible effort of synthesizing all human experience, and see what they have to say about it.
It is terribly interesting to see that for the definition of something that is easy, man has only used terms that mean the opposite: effort, difficult, complex,…
By assembling the main concepts, simplicity is the skill of performing an action that raises no questions, difficulties or efforts.
It is clear that for the word simple to exist, we need to go through a series of objects whose attributes make it simple – or not.
If we apply this concept to our profession, we can say an interface is a series of graphical objects that form an entity with which users will work. And it will be this entity that will be considered simple – or not.
Since human behaviour is 95% non-conscious, simplicity will be evaluated based on:
- A skill that is 95% non-conscious
- An imposition to our mind that is 95% non-conscious
- A difficulty and/or effort that is 95% non-conscious
Non-consciousness, the automatic mode of our brain, makes cognitive activity lighter for us. As such, it is the basis of simplicity.
An efficient method is a procedure that assembles all graphical objects in such a way that users will perceive its use as simple and that generates behaviour that is based on the 95% of non-conscious activity of our brain.