Simply Simple

Here in the office, we all enjoy reading a good book, especially when the topics overlap with our work.  This past month, I have started reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of the esteemed Steve Jobs (in its 656 pages of greatness).  Though certainly not without his own flaws, Jobs excelled at breaking down complexity and focusing on user experience, often to the chagrin of his subordinates.  In his view, simplicity was the ultimate sophistication.

“Look at the design of a lot of consumer products—they’re really complicated surfaces. We tried to make something much more holistic and simple. When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions. Most people just don’t put in the time or energy to get there. We believe that customers are smart, and want objects which are well thought through.”

Steve Jobs

In design, simplicity is often pursued and rarely reached; however, by pushing beyond the initial resistance and by asking and responding to key strategic questions, good designers are able to make their products (websites and iPhones alike) look great and perform exceptionally.


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