Simplicity Is The Ultimate Sophistication

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” – Charles Mingus.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

SMALL GHOST BUSTER - Design Philippe StarckOur battles today are much less about finding what is best.  It is largely battling all the good options that get in the way of the great.  Much of the work I do is taking complexity and driving simplicity in business systems, processes and marketing.  Why say it in one sentence when you can say it in ten?  Why have one simple button when you can create five?

I am being facetious, but the problem is widespread.  When I see complicated systems or technology, here is what I conclude:

  • The designer does not know what they are doing
  • The builder is not thinking of the customer experience
  • The implementer lacks patience and understanding

Great design comes from clear thinking and connecting what is created to a human being.  When I use software, I want ease of use, not frustration.  When I drive a car, I want a tightly integrated experience.  I buy from places that make it easy and pleasurable to do business.  This is true for travel, computers, sports equipment and groceries.

We have more choice in different categories than ever before.  Choice makes it critical that we make things for our customers that are intuitive, connect and delight.  Every touch point needs to be assessed.  How you attract a buyer, sell a customer and service them needs to be one cohesive experience.  Otherwise, it is just too easy to choose your competitor.  They are more accessible than ever.

Take a look at how you do business as well as how you do life.  Consider what you can cut out and simplify.  Perhaps less clutter on a menu and more quality on the most loved items would completely change the dining experience.  Or getting rid of your phone directory and just answering with a human voice would start the first touch experience right.  Think hard and surprise yourself.  Slicing away at the creeping elegance of your world and simplifying what you offer and how you do things shows your customers you have thought it through and you understand what is essential.

Work hard at simplifying.  Then simplify some more.  It is a sure way to reinvent your brand and value to the world.

What could you simplify today?

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