for simple misunderstandings
Why do designers always try their best to make the whole design work more "informative" in the "simple" design when designing?
When Party A and PM submit their requirements and revision plans, words like "bigger", "more enriched" and "too simple" always appear?
Are there really no misconceptions about "simple" and "minimalist"?
Every UX designer who has done research usually knows one thing. During research and interviews, users don’t always say what they really feel, but “what feels right”.
The real meaning behind "simple" should be "easy to understand", which is easier to understand and not difficult to grasp, and this is the real intention of the user conveyed by the word "simple". Too complicated life itself is the driving force that drives us to pursue easy-to-understand "simple". However, is it really all that simple to do? of course not.
Judging things by comparison is an evolutionary b2b data thinking instinct of human beings. As for the drawing software, everyone always compares it with Photoshop. For a new mobile phone, users will always use the iPhone as the benchmark.
The same is true when it comes to design. Whether it is the user, Party A, or the designer himself, he will always compare it with the design works he has seen. The judgment system shaped by past experience is an implicit comparison object.
Of course, for "complex" designs, the vast majority of users don't usually express their preference quickly and explicitly. Because the word complex itself hides the meaning of "not necessarily so easy to understand and control".
But another layer of meaning of complexity itself is "more" or "more powerful" in function.
Aside from the language expression, carefully comparing the various comparison decisions in life will find that what users really love is often limited and understandable "moderate complexity", rather than what is said in marketing promotions and oral feedback. "Simple", a more accurate expression is: a product that looks simple, easy to understand, and has a lot of functions (even more than its competitors).
Don't shy away from your innermost thoughts: too much simple/minimal stuff, and people get bored, too complicated to understand, and therefore confused.
What really makes people feel comfortable is more of what makes people feel "moderately complicated".
The complex world has never changed
The world has always been complex, and in most things, there are some complex components that cannot be eliminated.
Starting from point A and arriving at point B, there must be a spatial displacement in the middle. The ancients needed to go on foot, with the help of ox carts or horse-drawn carts, to complete long-distance raids. In modern society, people have more means of transportation to complete spatial migration more conveniently. If it is determined to use a vehicle as the main means of transportation, those who like to enjoy driving can choose to drive by themselves, while those who enjoy the service more can use the APP to take advantage of the sharing economy and call an online car-hailing very conveniently. Leave the process to someone else.
It seems that everything is getting easier and simpler, but the complex travel process and the efforts of space mobility are just passed on to more advanced technologies. Complexity, for the objective world, it cannot be ignored. And "convenience" is only the subjective feeling of users.
And this also involves the core of today's discussion, the law of conservation of complexity.
What is the Law of Conservation of Complexity
The Law of Conservation of Complexity was proposed by Larry Tesler in 1984, and some people named this law after him, which is Tesler's Law (I know what you think of, Tesla is Tesla). It is worth mentioning that the cut and paste functions that we commonly see in UI menus today were first implemented by Tesler in the application Smalltalk in Xerox Star.
According to the law of conservation of complexity, every application has its inherent, irreducible complexity. Whether in product development or in the interaction between users and products, this inherent complexity cannot be removed according to our wishes, and we can only try to adjust and balance it.
And in our real life, the vast majority of things are the same. More generally speaking, if you want to complete a task, you need to go through some specific steps and necessary links to complete it. We use mobile applications to do some things more quickly. The complex background links are actually It is passed on to the service provider of the application in the background, the developer of the APP and the smart device in your hand to undertake, rather than non-existent, the overall complexity of the whole thing itself is constant.
Back in the 1980s, when Larry Tesler was still at Apple, he realized that the application itself was as important as how the user used it.
In Larry Tesler's view, various complex links in applications can actually be transformed through reasonable design.
This delicate balance must be performed by a true professional interaction designer, and in Dan Saffer's "Guide to Interaction Design" there is an interview that discusses the law of conservation of complexity.
"Q: Are there any rules that interaction designers cannot violate?" "A: There is only one, and that is to design for the user." "Q: How did you come up with the law of conservation of complexity?" "A: When the field of interaction design was very primitive, I was working at Xerox PARC, and at that time (graphical user interface was just born) consistent design of user interface was a new concept, and it was quite controversial However, many of us believe that consistent and uniform design is not only good for users, but also for developers, because standards can be encapsulated in shared software libraries. If we establish standards and encourage consistent design, Then we can shorten the time to market and the size of the code.” "Between 1983 and 1985, I worked for Apple and developed object-oriented frameworks for MacApp. In addition to the Macintosh Toolbox (shared software library) and the application itself, I also inserted a 'Universal Application 'The middle layer. This is an interactive program with windows, menus and commands with which you can create, open, save and print documents, and with which you can build your actual s application."