Simplicity. It’s not as easy as it looks.

We’ve all heard the sayings “less is more” and “keep it simple, stupid,” but I prefer the one from Dave Ruse, a designer I work with who recently quipped, “simple is hard.” After spending the next few days toiling over a homepage wireframe in an attempt to simplify things, I came to appreciate how right he was.

Sharon Smith, Director of Product Management
#Design | Posted

We’ve all heard the sayings “less is more” and “keep it simple, stupid,” but I prefer the one from Dave Ruse, a designer I work with who recently quipped, “simple is hard.” After spending the next few days toiling over a homepage wireframe in an attempt to simplify things, I came to appreciate how right he was.

As a concept, simple is easy: strip out the extraneous information and promote what’s important. But that’s a lesson we all learned years ago. So how did we end up with sites where everything is represented on the homepage and nothing stands out? Because, as Dave said, “Simple is Hard.”

And it is. It’s hard to find the right balance between providing users a meaningful level of detail and keeping them focused on key tasks. Add to that the differential between what you and the client deem “important” and the task becomes even more challenging.

So what do you do? You look around the web for inspiration! Here are a few sites that have inspired me:

DO LecturesMark Boulton DesignMailChimpParavel

But don’t stop there! Others before me have already put together extensive collections of simple designs. I’ve re-posted them here. Check them out and get inspired to simplify your site!

 

Sharon Smith

Director of Product Management