“Interaction Design (IxD) defines the structure and behavior of interactive systems. Interaction designers strive to create meaningful relationships between people and the products and services that they use, from computers to mobile devices to appliances and beyond. Our practices are evolving with the world.”
—The Interaction Design Association (IxDA)
When many of them say “simple,” they mean to describe something incredibly easy to use. When others say it, they’re referencing the relative complexity of a thing, whether it’s a problem, a solution, a piece of code, or something else. To this extent, I admit that what I’m proposing here may be a semantic debate. But it’s an important one, because the word “simple” also gets used in the presence of stakeholders and coworkers who may have no idea what simplicity means in the context of a user’s experience.
As designers, we assume we all agree on its meaning. To us, simplicity is a high goal of design. Designers preach that notion to each other. They pass the gospel on to their constituents. They write it in articles. Simplicity is everywhere. And we sure do love it when we see it.
So what are we talking about when we talk about simplicity? Clarity. Not everything can be simple. Not everything can be easy to use. Many apps and services are necessarily complex. Even iPhone apps can be deviantly hard to use. But one thing they can all be is clear. No matter how complex a design, no matter how many tasks it supports, how many user roles are accommodated, or how many different ways it offers to perform the same daily actions, each and every screen, each and every detail of those screens can be made clearer.
Andy knows that design-led thought and action can set an organisation apart. As CEO of Clearleft, and as an interactions and usability specialist, he understands that human- centred, Design has become one of the key differentiators between a good product and an excellent product.
Joshua is the founder of Bokardo Design, a design consultancy focusing exclusively on social web applications. He is also the Co-founder of 52 Weeks of UX (along with the uber-talented Joshua Brewer), a premier UX blog with a strong readership of over 10,000
Jared is the founder of User Interface Engineering (UIE), the largest usability research organization of its kind in the world. He’s probably the most effective and knowledgeable communicator on the subject today. He’s been working in the field of usability and design