Better design through simplicity…

From a relatively old article (at least in terms of webloggia’s attention-span) comes some pointers on improving design through simplicity:

  • Heed cultural patterns. The iPod, for instance, succeeded not just because of its sleek form, but because, in conjunction with iTunes, it solved so many of the problems of buying and storing music.
  • Be transparent. People like to have a mental model of how things work.
  • Edit. Simplicity hinges as much on cutting nonessential features as on adding helpful ones, the Newton MessagePad and the Palm Pilot being prime examples.
  • Prototype. Push beyond proof-of-technology demos and build prototypes that people can interact with.

This is a good set of assumptions for trying out new ideas and building new products and pretty close to the way we’ve been working in R&Mi when we do our rapid prototyping sprints. I should really write that stuff up sometime…

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