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Technology

In Search of a Simpler Work Experience

by David Brewster Technology

I made my move two years ago. At the time I didn’t tell many people. I didn’t want to be embarrassed if it didn’t work out. I didn’t want people saying, “I told you so”. But now, two years on, it’s time I told you about my shift. In the early days, the old place […]

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Ignoring the Hidden Costs

by David Brewster Management

I’ve just finished writing a cheque and addressing an envelope to pay for my daughters’ music lessons in the upcoming term. Why go to all this trouble? Because the music school charges a 2% surcharge for electronic payments. So it’s cheaper for me to send them an old fashioned cheque. This all-to-common scenario illustrates one […]

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Timely Reminder from a Web Veteran

by David Brewster Management

I’ve been reading Gerry McGovern on web content management for years. He’s a leading advocate for maintaining a level of simplicity in intranets particularly. In a recent piece, he uses a strong analogy to restate a couple of the main principles of simplicity in practice: Complexity tends to self generate, largely as a ‘protection’ mechanism […]

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Are you Addicted to being Connected?

by David Brewster Technology

Thanks to Leon Gettler’s Management Line for the heads up on a fabulous video showing the managing editor of Forbes magazine struggling to do without his mobile phone and BlackBerry. The challenge was to last seven days – he lasted 40 hours. This little experiment raises a couple of issues. First, it is clear from […]

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Revealed: Why your Computer System is a Mess

by David Brewster Management

Ever wondered why it takes you so long to find the information you need on your corporate computer system? That’s if you can find it at all. Did you know that the tooth fairy could be partly to blame? The tooth fairy visited our house just last week. Nothing particularly new in that: it must […]

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Does Simplicity have a Future?

by David Brewster Society

Simplicity is over-rated. At least that’s what a leading thinker on product design, Don Norman, wrote last month. He went further, saying “simplicity is a myth whose time has past [sic]”. So are those of us who believe in simplicity kidding ourselves? Is it worth pursuing or a waste of time and energy?

I started thinking about Don Norman’s article a couple of days ago (see below). Here they are explored in a little more depth.

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Simply Complex? Complicated Simplicity? What is Simplicity’s place in 2007?

by David Brewster Society

A swag of recent articles have alluded to one of the big problems with the pursuit of simplicity: it doesn’t necessarily sell. Essentially (and at the risk of over-simplifying!) it is argued that people tend to opt for extra, usually complex, features over simplicity at the time of purchase – whether or not they use […]

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Do I want to spend more time on household maintenance?

by David Brewster Technology

And there there is Bill Gate’s vision for the future digital home (as outlined in a speech last weekend). It’s a home in which everything is connected and linked to multiple flat screens all around the house. Sounds fantastic? I’m not so sure, unless they get the simplicity bit right first. Which is unlikely. It […]

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More evidence: Microsoft just don’t get simplicity

by David Brewster Technology

I hesitate to criticize Microsoft. As an ex-Microsoft user, it’s easy to be accused of simply bagging the ‘opposition’. But when it comes to simplicity, it is impossible to ignore the fact that Microsoft continue to be a wonderful example of what not to do if you want to make life easy for your customers. […]

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The future of sorting through all that data might be simple

by David Brewster Management

Have you ever thought that your decision making would be a lot easier if only you could get the information you really need out of the MIS, not just the 'standard reports' that are on offer. Yes, I know all the systems promise simple ad hoc reporting but few seem to deliver in practice. Many […]

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