May 14th, 2008
We want to make designs simple, but we don’t want to make them dumb. There’s a difference. The goal is to simplify the design by keeping only the most valuable bits, eliminating everything else.
This is not easy to do. You really have to know something about the users, what they are trying to do, and how they go about doing it. Just having that information will likely push the team to add more features, not less, so you then need a solid vision of how simplicity will make it better. Finally, you have to be ruthless and stubborn, cutting all the unnecessary bits out and sticking to your guns about keeping to the essentials.
The designers of a new video camera, the Flip Video, have cleverly done just this. As a result, the camera is stealing market share from the big players and garnering great reviews in the press mainstream press. (Oprah even featured it on her show.)
In this week’s article for our email newsletter, I look at four ways the Flip has simplified the act of filming and sharing movies, while keeping the value in the design. These are lessons I think we all can learn from.
By the way, we think the Flip Ultra Camera is so remarkable that we’re giving one away to everyone who registers by May 20th for our User Interface 13 Conference. We thought a product with a great design was the right way to start out a great conference.
Have you been working to make your designs simpler? What lessons have you learned in the process?Tweet