As simple as necessary (but not simpler)

The convenience regime is in full force. You don’t often earn points by being baroque, rococo or byzantine.

Given a choice, people will simply move on to the next thing.

“As simple as necessary” is missed by many professionals who should call themselves designers, but don’t. Consider the 30 digit code that Microsoft wants me to type in… 30 digits? That’s more than a quintillion possible combinations. A lot more. Why?

Or notice the new user interface for the useful Audio Hijack program… It’s a two-dimensional grid with clickable icons. Why isn’t it simpler?

And “but not simpler” is missed, more and more often. Items that are dumbed down to the point where they are too simple to get useful work done. Where the power is hidden from the user, because the user can’t be trusted with it. Apple continues to make things simpler than they need to be, all in the name of short-term convenience.

The balancing act is real. It requires empathy, the empathy to realize that not everyone knows what you know and not everyone wants what you want.


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