Designing for simplicity versus complexity is a zero-sum game.
"Put your user in the middle of your flow. Make them press an extra button, make them provide some inputs, let them be part of the service-providing, rather than a bystander to it. If they are part of the flow, they have a better vantage point to see what's going on. Automation is great, but it's a layer of cognitive complexity that should be used carefully."
Ten principles doesn't strike me as complex.
"Here are ten principles that I've found helpful when trying to ensure something stays simple."
Simple yes, but for whom? The novice, the expert or for both?
"If a designer or product owner wants their service to be beautifully simple, they must defend that principle through each stage of the design process, and beyond."
It's all about language: morphology, phonology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.
"Many types of information have their own vocabulary along with conventions for visual communication."
Complexity increases when objects and their relations are added all the time and at multiple levels of abstraction.
"The story of usability is a perverse journey from simplicity to complexity. That's right, from simplicity to complexity - not the other way around. (...) Usability is a messy, ill-defined, and downright confusing concept."
Great to see B&A revitalising.
Understanding features in terms of complexity instead of functionality ~ "The best products don't focus on features, they focus on clarity. Problems should be fixed through simple solutions, something you don't have to configure, maintain, control. The perfect solution needs to be so simple and transparent you forget it's even there. However, elegantly minimal designs don’t happen by chance. They're the result of difficult decisions. Whether in the ideation, designing, or the testing phases of projects, UX practitioners have a critical role in restraining the feature sets within our designs to reduce the complexity on projects."
"The new generation of web tools are enabling us to collaborate to filter massive information overload. Creating visual frameworks can be a powerful way of making sense of information. The role of futurists is pattern recognition. Selective filtering to reinforce our biases is not new. Most of us will experience more diverse views than before the web." (Ross Dawson ~ Trends in the Living Networks)
"Usability and user experience design is all about making things simple and easy to use. I never would've expected such a contradictory statement coming from some one who co-founded the Nielsen and Norman group, a firm that offers usability consulting, training seminars and research reports. This statement puts a dagger into the back of usability and user experience design." (UX Movement)
"Interface complexity is an issue every designer wrestles with when designing a reasonably sophisticated application. A complex interface can reduce user effectiveness, increase the learning curve of the application, and cause users to feel intimidated and overwhelmed." (Brandon Walkin) - courtesy of lievenbaeten
"Don Norman's In Favour of Complexity keynote at UX London 2009 made the case for complexity with order, lucidity and understandability." (notes from LukeW)
"There is increasing interest in the simplification of information technology (IT). The IT industry is recognizing the need to simplify software technology as businesses express their increased interest in governing the return on their IT investments. Two goals are surfacing as explicit mandates to which all software vendors are responding: (1) lowering the skills required of software users and (2) increasing their productivity. Although this simplification mandate is most essential to small- and medium-sized businesses, where people with high-end technical skills may not be affordable, an awareness of the damage complexity inflicts on users is spreading to the enterprise market as well. Commoditization pressures make it necessary for the IT industry to reduce skills requirements as well as service and maintenance costs." (Lucinio Santos - UXmatters)
"The MIT Media Lab's John Maeda lives at the intersection of technology and art -- a place that can get very complicated. Here, he talks about paring down to basics, and how he creates clean, elegant art, websites and web tools. In his book Laws of Simplicity, he offers 10 rules and 3 keys for simple living and working -- but in this talk, he boils it down to one simply delightful way to be." (TED: Ideas worth spreading) - courtesy of digitalwebmagazine
"(...) apparently unrelated networks behave in similar ways and have similar structures – they're the result of similar laws. This knowledge allows us to have common thinking about networks. But many questions remain. How are the networks used? What are the dynamics of how they’re being used at the smallest scale?" (Albert-László Barabási - ASIS&T Bulletin Feb/Mar 2007)
"Achieving simplicity is not that simple when you are dealing with complex modern device design. Rob Tannen mused on lazy shortcuts, artificial constraints and Maeda's crusade on the complex." (Rob Tannen - Boxes and Arrows)
"Devotees of simplicity will bring up 37signals and the Apple iPod as anecdotal proof that Simple Sells. I would argue that in both these cases, success is a result of a combination of things: building an audience, evangelism, clean and spare design, emotional appeal, aesthetics, fast response time, direct and instant user feedback, program models which correspond to the user model resulting in high usability, and putting the user in control, all of which are features of one sort, in the sense that they are benefits that customers like and pay for, but none of which can really be described as 'simplicity'." (Joel Spolsky)
"Though many business strategies and publications continue to trumpet the power of simplicity in the design of digital products, for lots of companies and product teams, simplicity doesn’t come easy." (Luke Wroblewski - UXmatters)
"John Maeda's book, The Laws of Simplicity, is a good quick read. I love the clear presentation of the ideas in the book and the fact that the author imposed a limit of 100 pages for himself, an idea consistent with his Third Law: 'Savings in time feels like simplicity'. This book is not the final word on the topic of, of course, and in fact more is to come soon on the topic by MIT press." (Garr Reynolds - Presentation Zen)
"(..) we are learning that simplicity equals sanity. We're rebelling against technology that's too complicated, DVD players with too many menus, and software accompanied by 75-megabyte 'Read Me' manuals. The iPod's clean gadgetry has made simplicity hip. But sometimes we find ourselves caught up." (John Maeda)
"Too much web management suffers from trying to be all things to all people. Apple and Google have triumphed from targeting common tasks." (Gerry McGovern)
"Marissa Mayer, who keeps Google's home page pure, understands that less is more. Other tech companies are starting to get it, too. Here's why making things simple is the new competitive advantage." (Fast Company)
"The truth? It isn't simple." (Donald A. Norman) - courtesy of usabilityviews
"I'm sure that within Philips there is a genuine belief that it is important to make their products as simple as possible to use. However, there is a big difference between marketing your products as simple to use and making them genuinely simple." (Gerry McGovern)
"(1) A complex system of many functions can be simplified by carefully grouping related functions. (2) The positive emotional response derived from a simplicity experience has less to do with utility, and more to do with saving time." (John Maeda - Simplicity)
"Never before has there been so much to choose from, and never before has it been more important to eliminate most of these choices." (Gerry McGovern)
"The Next Big Thing is not a thing at all: it is simplicity. - In the 90s they [IT companies] operated under the principle, 'build it and they will come' - even if it was too complex and would never be implemented, they would build it! That has changed." (Andreas Kluth - The Economist) - courtesy of ui designer