Creativity

Why Simplicity Matters Today

For a long time, I and plenty of others have been preaching the message of simple, clean design.  At the same time, I’ve been teaching about the enormous media clutter that makes up our lives.  Some researchers say that the average American sees as many as 5,000 media messages a day – from billboards, print ads, banner ads on websites, TV and radio commercials – even video monitors on gas pumps.  But it wasn’t until I was reading the book:
Chasing Cool: Standing Out in Today’s Cluttered Marketplace” that I put the two things together.  As authors Noah Kerner and Gene Pressman write:

“We see a similar philosophy in Apple stores today, on Google’s home page, in Tiffany’s instantly identifiable and constantly alluring robin’s-egg blue branding.  Consumers are overwhelmed by too many options.  An aversion to clutter  – both literally and existentially – is a wise editorial strategy for any product offering.”

There’s the connection.  We’re so overwhelmed by all the clutter that’s filled our lives, that when it comes to products, websites, and more, we just want it simple.  Make it clean, make it uncluttered, and make it work.  Maybe it’s time you re-evaluated your web presence, products, or other media to make sure you’re not adding to the mess.  Simple is always better.

As Leonardo Da Vinci said a long time ago: “Simple is the ultimate sophistication.”

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7 Comments

  1. + Substance. Have something to say (and be able to back it up) before you open your mouth / promote your message in any format. This is foundational as well. The best marketing message will only help you go out of business faster if what is behind the message is junk. (Or bunk.)

  2. Yes sir. +1. And whatever other small and simple statements that can say “I agree.”

    Of course, I could have just said that, but it wouldn’t have made the comment anything more than a “yes sir” moment :p

  3. I think we are all attracted to the simple when our lives are so crowded with noise and clutter.

    Those organisations that keep things simple win. Their message overwhelms the million chattering confused complicated voices out in the electronic noise.

    Compare
    Apple vs Microsoft
    Google vs Yahoo
    Men vs women (did I say that?!)

  4. Simplicity is the beauty of Twitter, no more than 140 characters. However, it’s also the problem with twitter. It’s the problem because most people don’t think about how they can maximize all 140 characters. Few things are more annoying than tweets that go longer than 140 and use a link to finish off the tweet. Think about what you’re saying in 140 characters or write a blog and use twitter to link to it.

  5. Great read, I couldn’t agree more. Designing simple is always a challenge. Too much becomes too busy… not enough and you’re not effective. Thanks for the reminder… keep it simple!

  6. t’s the problem because most people don’t think about how they can maximize all 140 characters. Few things are more annoying than tweets that go longer than 140 and use a link to finish off the tweet. Think about what you’re saying in 140 characters or write a blog and use twitter to link to it.

  7. Simplicity is the beauty of Twitter, no more than 140 characters. However, it’s also the problem with twitter. It’s the problem because most people don’t think about how they can maximize all 140 characters.

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