Garblog's Pages

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Simplicity Thesis | Aaron Levie, Fast Company

Levie's article seems to be about development, production and marketing of products and companies. But I think its advocacy for simplicity can be considered much more broadly. Professionally, I'm a writer, editor, communications specialist and photographer, so I'm assessing how my work could benefit from the suggestions Levie makes here.

After all, Levie writes [emphasis added]:
A fascinating trend is consuming Silicon Valley and beginning to eat away at rest of the world: the radical simplification of everything.
Levie writes that any market not simplifying its operation for customers is about to be disrupted. He writes similarly about any service, any product and any category .... I'd include anything written (and spoken, for that matter) among those categories--like articles, brochures, newsletters, reports and speeches.

Levie writes:
This should be a red flag for any product or solution, whether digital or analog, that isn’t minimally complex. If you’re making the customer do any extra amount of work, no matter what industry you call home, you’re now a target for disruption.
In response to a question: So what do you do about this? Levie responds with "Here are just a few ways to get started in achieving minimum complexity":
  1. Think end to end.
  2. Simplicity relates to the entire customer experience, from how you handle pricing to customer support.
  3. Say no.
  4. Kill features and services that don’t get used, and optimize the ones that do.
  5. Specialize.
  6. Focus on your core competency, and outsource the rest--simplicity comes more reliably when you have less on your plate.
  7. Focus on details.
  8. Simple is hard because it’s so easy to compromise; hire the best designers you can find, and always reduce clicks, messages, prompts, and alerts.
  9. Audit constantly.
  10. Constantly ask yourself, can this be done any simpler? Audit your technology and application frequently.
Writers can apply each one of those steps to his or her work.

----------

Here's another article I just read that covers some of the same territory: "In Business, Simplicity is Difficult." Its headings:
    • Accept that what you do is boring 
    • Understand that one more feature will make it worse 
    • Assume you’re wrong.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...