Easy? No. Simple? Yes.
We live in an information-saturated world where the need, the yearning, for simplicity is greater than ever. In communication, in marketing, in just making it through the day, we want to cut through the clutter and get down to what matters. Simplicity isn’t necessarily simple to achieve, but it’s always worth the effort.
As a business focused on “clarity by design,” we’ve always operated an Apple-based shop. Between desktop computers, laptops, our iPhones, and an iPad we’re just about as Mac-centric as we can be. And for us, that makes sense, because, from the user’s point of view, the products that Steve Jobs envisioned and produced are all about stripped-down, streamlined simplicity.
“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity,” Jobs said. “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
Back in 2013, Fast Company magazine published “Successful Entrepreneurs Give Their Younger Selves Lessons They Wish They’d Known Then,” one of their most frequently re-posted articles. In the piece, Soundcloud co-founder/CEO Alexander Ljung touts the considerable power of simplicity in business and in life.
“The advice I would offer my 21-year-old self is to remember that it takes more mental (and sometimes physical) bandwidth to create something simple or communicate something complicated in basic terms, but ultimately, that’s a lot nicer for the user experience,” Ljung said. “I’d remind myself of the importance to leverage design as a decisive advantage and to not be afraid to challenge people to break down their knowledge into easily digestible, clearer statements.”
In other words, it may not be that easy, but it really is that simple.