The complexity of simplicity

Dan Saffer

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler.” So said Albert Einstein. But how?

How can you take complex pieces of functionality, put them all together and make them as simple as possible…without alienating experienced or power users? I have been giving this a lot of thought this year and have presented several times on the topic in a talk titled, “The Complexity of Simplicity”. In the presentation, I outline the barriers to simplicity—and how to overcome them—as well as looking at the designers’ toolbox for how to create designs that feel simple.

Creating simplicity is, as it turns out, pretty complex. Take a look at this video which distills down some of my key points, which we at Smart try to reflect in our work in designing digital experiences.