Choosing simple design isn’t always so simple

A380cockpit

See the whole interactive panorama at Gilles Vidal’s photography site

Designing for the mobile is often seen as a process of simplification or an effort to “strip out functionality to the core essence of the service.”

Simplicity in design should be a given but is the process of ‘mobilization not miniaturisation” as straightforward?

Interesting perspective here which raises some very good thoughts.

In essence a highly complex functional product can have a “clean” interface – think Google or a product with few features can look cluttered – think Craigslist.

Interestingly portals, dashboards etc. can look very cluttered but are made up of simple elements (see pic above!) The key to making these systems easy to use is to work on matching displays to mental models, and training users on the proper mental models.

Given that growth is inevitable due to added functionality or scale (discuss? – actually I don’t agree with that) an original clean interface may simply stop working. But then pushing things too far to simplify may mean that users are unable to complete their key goals.

This puts it quite well.

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