Almost every UX specialists, Information Architect, Content Strategist and other design professionals preach the need for simplicity. Yes, more people are joining the church of “Insanely Simple” – a philosophy championed by the late Steve Job and one that helped Apple to gain tech-world supremacy (for now at least).
I, too, belong to the church of Insanely Simple. And I’m sure millions of others would soon join the Insanely Simple cult – especially after they watched an engaging TED talk, titled “Simplicity Sells”, by David Pogue. Here, I embed the video for you. Watch it if you haven’t. It well worth your time.
Totally convinced that simplicity is the way to go? Great! Welcome to the real world. I say that because, from now on, you would have to think on how to implement Insanely Simple philosophy to your daily work.
(*Ahem*) It’s time to embark on a transformation, from a believer to a practitioner. And this transformation, my friend, is not an easy one – nor it is a short one. Talking about Insanely Simple requires no effort, but practicing it requires lots of hard work.
To practice the Insanely Simple philosophy, you need to know what to work at. And, like many of you, I had no idea where to begin until recently – when I had an epiphany when I was creating the presentation for my talk, titled “The Rise of Citizen Developers” in Singapore Mini Maker Faire.
Insanely Simple philosophy involves work in two main areas:
1. Making User Interface Intuitive (Or Product Design)
Apple excels in this area, because its products are to intuitive to use. Pick any iPad, iPhone, or Macbook, and chances are, people will tell you that they don’t need manuals to learn how to use the Apple products, i.e. they learn through trial-and-error.
The product manual is the lead indicator on whether you still need to invest your time and effort on user interface – especially on making it simple-to-use. Ask yourselves the following questions:
- How thick is your product manual?
- How long does it take for average users to be proficient in using the product?
- Do people able to use the product without reading the manual?
If the answer to the last question is no, then congratulations! You have achieved a gold standard in user interface design – which is kinda important considering less time is needed to persuade people to use your product and adopt it in their daily routine.
2. Designing Customer Service Processes (Or Service Design)
Great product alone is not enough to improve user experience because user experience is the total sum of engagement experience since the product is acquired until it is discarded.
Therefore Insanely Simple philosophy should go beyond products’ user interface. Practitioners should also think about how the customers being served during purchase time, during the life span of the product, and when the product is no longer required.
In other words, Insanely Simple practitioners must also think about customer service processes. Excellence in this area means people can get services related to their product without getting frustrated.
Some ideas to provide better service design are:
- Simplifying the procedures that your customers have to go through
- Shortening the idle period when waiting for services
- Providing training for your customers at their convenience
Of course the above list is by no means exhaustive. There are millions of other ways to WOW the customers during customer service process. The sky is the limit.
There you go. The two work areas that you have to do to be Insanely Simple practitioners! Any thought on this?