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Simplicity Simplicity

The more I read, the more I am coming to believe that those who can master simplicity are going to get a major edge over those who force their customers to struggle with their offerings. A recent Fast Company story on Google also features other companies – Intuit and Phillips among them, who have started to get simplicity right.As I reflect on it, dozens of ordinary things could use the simplicity treatment – cell phones, TV remotes, and most software would be tops on my list. It is fascinating, too, to watch the companies I work with (such as Nokia and Microsoft) struggle to get an authentic experience of the way their products drive their customers crazy. After all, most of the people designing those products are so technically talented that they DO seem simple.

I’m taking the simplicity plunge in another area myself – I just ordered a copy of Intuit’s “Simple start” accounting software. Ironically, I spent over $500 on Intuit’s Quickbooks, a more complicated version of the product and am finding it is just too complex for what I need – and I’m too impatient to bother fighting with the thing. Maybe Simple Start will do the trick – just enough to free me from spreadsheets and keep the tax people happy, and that’s all I want.

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