Simplicity is a highly valued element of product design. But what we should be really going for is elegance, efficiency and the thoughtful consideration of complex elements and interactions.
Simplicity is a highly valued element of product design. Any self- respecting product designer will spend time considering ease of use, ergonomic fit and user interface in the development or review of a product. Often these areas present the sole benefits and focus of the development effort.
Before getting to the more granular considerations of simplicity; simplicity of a particular interaction, I think it is important to consider it more globally.
In fact, I prefer to manage complexity rather than promote simplicity.
More than being antonyms, the relationship of simplicity and complexity is like cooler and warmer temperatures.
Heat is a measure of average kinetic energy. The tool being designed and the task the user will perform with it are a closed system. The average energy of this system is constant, the question is which parts of the system should be cool and which ones warm; where do you place the complexity to allow for simplicity in other areas.
Scissors, for example, are a simple tool, but the task of cutting is more complex. A simple set of scissors requires complex coordination; something that is often missing from discussions of product architecture and design approach is the necessity for dealing with complexity.
Taking a step back from the product to consider its purpose, you’ll find that many products are developed to help the user perform complex tasks. A balance must be struck between
Assuming the product is a tool, something with which the user will interact, that tool is not a closed system. It does not exist in a vacuum. So it’s simplicity mean little without consideration of the interaction