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Jonathan Wickham: The Secret Of Simple Web Design

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Everyone is attracted to things that are simple. Great design is simple. Great writing is simple.

Simplicity is king.

Apple has made a living creating simple, easy to use products. Now they are the most valuable company of all time.

But what is simple? Isn’t it just keeping things clear and concise?

Yep that’s exactly what simple is.

Simplicity is a complex task.

And here’s what simple isn’t:

  • unnecessary clutter
  • chaos
  • entropy “the lack of order or predictability; a gradual decline into disorder.”

So what is the root cause that manifests as unnecessary clutter/chaos/entropy?

Answer: lack of clarity.

When we lack clarity, we try to fill in the gaps. When we don’t have a limited scope, a clear thesis, or a concise objective the gaps are filled in with chaos, clutter, and entropy.

You have to know exactly what your message should be. When you have pinpointed this the unnecessary clutter isn’t an option. Your writing will become crisp and your design will become clean.

The Solution is… Simple.

Clearly define what your message is first, then set out to create.

  • What is/are the end result(s) you’re after?
  • What is the purpose/objective?
  • What is the scope?

With these clearly defined your brain will become a servo-mechanism on a path towards a target, and it will automatically exclude the unnecessary.

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