I've been reading a lot lately on the difficulty of simplicity... and the elegance design thinkers can bring to the world through perfecting this discipline.  Think of the government or any regulated industry, and complexity abounds!  

Creative innovations can take the complex and turn it into simple for the customer.  To be sure, this is a difficult task and one you can often overlook while in your own profession.  Your experience, baggage and history in what you do often precludes you from seeing the deeper need to simplify your offerings so customers can really know how you can change their lives.

Those who carve simplicity out of complex structures, complex processes or arduous relationships will be the winners in the new world of service and product innovations.  Complex structures may still be complex (and may NEED to be complex) - but the designers ability to make them simple to the customer is what breeds elegance.

Thoughts on creating simplicity:

1.  Number each step in your check out process (whether online or in-store).  How can you reduce it to 3 or 4?  Should you?

2.  Is your blog post too long and too complex?  How can you shorten it while making the message more impactful?

3.  Can you build a website with no words - pictures only?  Is that possible?

4.  How can colors be used to display simplicity (e.g. use big blue circles to note the steps in any process)?  Which colors should you use?

5.  Do you share ALL of the complexity of your work with your customer?  Maybe you don't have to.  Discuss outcomes and results, not the complex steps you went through to deliver those results.

6.  Maybe you don't need to deliver things on paper.  Maybe the deliverables should be videos or face-to-face discussions.  How can you document these and still get paid for them?

7.  Discuss the problems you are going to solve with your customer with storyboarding.  Try not to write words on the storyboards - only pictures.

8.  Is your logo trying to convey too many complex notions?  Why not simplify it with primary colors, sturdy block structures or one letter?

9.  Stop finishing your products.  Create simple prototypes.  Make the customer change it.  Deliver undone solutions.

10.  During ideation, give the marker to your customer and explain what you want them to do.  Then sit down and become a participant.  See what happens.

11.  Are your written legal agreements too long?  Can you fit it all on one page?  3 pages?  5 pages?

12.  What about a video contract on Vimeo?  No words.  Is that Legal?  Why or why not?

13.  Do you use too many buzz words?  I do.  Stop it.

14.  Why are there no pictures in the business books I read?  I'm not sure.

15.  Notice simple things around you.  Mimic these (e.g., small children's drawings)

Other thoughts?

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