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Simplicity’s Future: The Debate Rolls On

by David Brewster on May 4, 2007

in Society,Technology

Back in January I wrote about the future of simplicity, following a provocative article by Don Norman. Well the debate that Don started has run itself around the globe a few times now. I’ve just come across another article by Joshua Porter which is worth noting simply because he cross references a number of views on the debate. (He overlooks me, but everyone has their faults :) ).

Joshua quotes the excellent work of Barry Schwarz, author of The Paradox of Choice : Why More is Less, in making his ultimate point that what buyers ultimately want is a simplicity of choice. He argues that the reason why customers tend to choose complex products and feature-sets over simpler ones is that it makes their choice easier. There is less chance, in the buyer’s mind, that they will be left disappointed.

Joshua goes on to agree with most of the writers on this subject that we are ultimately talking about striking a delicate balance; his point is that the balance is between a providing simple choice and providing a simple product.

What is clearly comes out of this article is a reminder that anyone in business should be making choice as simple as possible for their customers. I doubt there can be too much doubt about that?

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