Simple. Desirable. Sharable.

Things learned during a week of self-imposed blogging exile in Aruba. Axioms Simple. Simplicity is the first requirement of anything valuable. Simple is marked by a lack of ambiguity. Clarity. Instant understanding. We take for granted those things that are simple because they are simple, as there is nothing else to say. We must first […]

Things learned during a week of self-imposed blogging exile in Aruba.

Axioms

Simple.

Simplicity is the first requirement of anything valuable. Simple is marked by a lack of ambiguity. Clarity. Instant understanding. We take for granted those things that are simple because they are simple, as there is nothing else to say. We must first understand a subject before we can do anything useful with it.

Desirable.

Desirability is the second requirement of anything valuable. To create successful software you need to make something people want. If you can’t show or explain why people would want your product/service in one sentence, chances are it’s probably not simple enough.

Sharable.

This follows from the first two. If you aren’t able to share it with someone, then it’s either not simple enough to explain or desirable enough to be worth mentioning. And if you can make it simple and desirable, then it will share itself.

Corollaries

  • If people truly want what you have, you’ll have no trouble making money from it.
  • If your idea is truly simple, then chances are you as the designer won’t get noticed.
  • If your idea is truly desirable, you won’t have to spend much time marketing it.
  • Much of design is done in the name of the designer, not the user. Designers love to tell people how they’re adding value, but it really doesn’t matter what they say…it’s what the users say that counts.
  • Simple needs to be everywhere. Both the software and messaging need to be simple. Building it is one hurdle, telling people about it is another. Of course, you want people to tell each other, so build that into the software, too. But your messaging should reinforce what you want people to say to each other.
  • It doesn’t matter what you know unless you can express it to others.
  • Expression of ideas is what we are all doing all the time. The clarity with which we can express new ideas or ideas that build upon existing ones is the value that we add to any conversation.
  • Genius is making the hard-to-understand simple.
Published: January 18th, 2006

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