In most of the cases you will find when you look deeply into it that simplicity seems to be overrated when it comes to UX design. It is so significantly noticeable that you may even tend to think whether or not simplicity is a real thing or simply is the design in pursuit of something entirely different.
The primary reason for this confusion seems to be the lack of a clear and shared definition of the key terms. For example, when you consider a ‘clean design’ you can measure it in degrees but however it may mean a set of different things to other people. It will entirely depend on their understanding and on the standards of cleanliness.
It is the same thing when you consider a ‘simple design.’ Two people, designers in particular will definitely have very different definitions to it.
- Some may say that ‘simple’ is something that is incredibly easy to use
- Some may say refer to the comparative complexity of the design
- Few may consider the number of issues in it
- While others may take the types of solutions that it provides and
- Few may even simply consider the pieces of code.
All these add to the complexity of the definition and understanding of ‘simplicity’ in a UX design and may even result in a semantic debate.
However, simplicity is a very important factor because this word plays a very significant role when it comes to the coworkers and stakeholders who typically may have no idea about what simplicity means and what is its significance when it comes to userexperience.
Perspective of designers
In spite of all these differences in meaning and understanding, when you consider the designer’s perspective, you will see that one UX design research firm will agree with the other on the meaning of simplicity. To any UX designer, simplicity is typically the high goal of UX design and all believes likewise. They will:
- Preach the same notion to another designer
- Pass the gospel to their constituents
- Write about it in several articles and
- Suggest simplicity is everywhere.
Ideally, all designers ensure that there is enough simplicity in the UX design so much so that each user apart from them loves it when they see it.
Well, while simplicity is highly important in UX design it is important to know exactly when a designer sees it.
Since ‘simple’ is a relative word, it is hard to find a definitive value for it. It is therefore measured by comparing it with another thing that is more complex. This however, is not that simple and practically all UX designersmost absurdly use an iPhone and rely on the hallmark specimen of simplicity. This is absurd because the iPhone handles a lot of things such as:
- Phone calls
- Weather reports
- Text messages
- To-do lists
- Audio recording and host of other things as well.
With all these features and functions performed, it is naturally quite far from simple and therefore the qword cannot be applied to it simply.
Apart from the incredibly complex factor, there is the continuous learning curve that makes more things more complicated than simple. With the introduction of new apps every day with new features and ways of doing things, it seems to be an unending stream of designed pedagogics.
Therefore, simplicity is defined and refined based on several factors such as:
- Years of research
- Massive amounts of data
- The success hinges
- Giant and complicated algorithms
- The degree of sophisticated
- The beautifuldesign
- Considerations and mindfulness of the users’ viewpoints and lots more.
To make this simplicity issue really simple, few UX designers relate simplicity with ‘clarity.’ These designers opine that this is the best way to define simplicity because:
- Everything cannot be simple and easy to use
- There are lots of apps and services that are necessarily or unnecessarily complex such as the e-Procurement systems or enterprise management systems and
- Even iPhone apps can be insolentlyvery hard to use.
Therefore, given such complexities, there is one thing that can be universal and that is clarity. Each and every detail of each and every screen can be made clearer irrespective of the following:
- Complexity in the design
- Number of tasks it supports
- Number of user roles accommodated and
- The number of different ways it offers to execute the same type of daily actions.
Focus on clarity will enable all designers to apply lessons in the core web application design principles. It will help them to stress on a specific point which is to apply it on each and every interaction in the way they would for any narrowscope application on a micro scale.
Good design practices
Designers can apply all types of good UX design practices to make a complex interface appear simple. This will create clarity in the design and that is how clarity was born. A few of these practices are:
- Chunking – This is breaking all of the messy task flows apart into smaller pieces. Though this will slow down the users but it will also reduce the chances of making mistakes considerably. On the other hand, it may also help them speed them up their mundane tasks to fly through. Either way, it will reduce the cognitive load of the user while assessing any new screen and get through it.
- Headings and labels – Use of descriptive headings and labels with verb phrases is a good practice as that will make the users gain confident and know that they are in the right place. They will understandthings in a better way which will enable them to perform right actions while using the descriptive button labels and command links.
- Visual hierarchy – This will help to organize information on the screen and guide the user through a complex task flow by creating an intuitive and comprehensive path.
Progressive disclosure of the necessary elements of any task is a good way to keep things simpler along with a default option to make it easier for the users to choose. Building less with fewer features will also ensure simple design and high UX level.
Author Bio –
Kristen Smith is a notable management consultant and digital marketing expert. She is quite experienced in the field of web marketing as well as website designing. Learn more on UX design research firm Instagram technique on her blog.