Most people or organizations do not, by design, create a product or service with the goal of “making the most complex product that nobody can use”. In other words, rarely do we see purposeful complexity but instead we see much unthoughtful complexity – or, business complexity reduction.
i am going to create the most complex product or service and nobody will be able to use it! i’ll make sure that after my customers experience my product or service, that they feel deflated & completely unsuccessful.
On the other hand, people and organizations that make it a goal towards simplicity and ease-of-use, actually make a very, very concerted effort — in other words, purposeful simplicity.
So, if great effort is required to achieve simplicity and almost no effort is needed to achieve complexity, why is there so much complexity in our products and services? Why do so many of us feel stupid, dumb, and that it’s our fault after experiencing a product or service?
I believe the answer is simple:
lack of reflection and concern for the customer
Simplicity and Complexity need each other — @johnmaeda teaches this to us; I grant that some processes and products require complexity, but I argue that most complexity is achieved because of unthoughtful concern for the customer.
Here are some questions that can serve as anchors and keep us grounded to the customer experience:
- how will the customer feel after she experiences my product or service? (ala diego)
- what will the customer remember after they experience my product or service?
- why are they using my product or service? how many steps does it take?
- could i make things simpler for my customer?
- if the customer were in my shoes, what would she do?
- if a 12 year old were in my shoes, what would he do?
- if my 72 year old filipino, immigrant, non-computer savvy mother were in my shoes, what would she do?
Stay anchored; Stay grounded. The customer writes your paycheck. Remember who you are working for.