I’m reading “The Laws of Simplicity” by John Maeda. I plan to provide a summary of each Chapter, or as the book refers to them, each Law.
Law 5: Differences – Simplicity and complexity need each other. If complexity didn’t exist how would you recognize simplicity? Without one the other would be harder to define. Take the ipod for instance. If you compare it to other mp3 players, the simplicity of the ipod is instantly noticed.
Let’s put this to use when viewing a website. Take a look at cnn.com, there is a ton of information on this site to be digested, but because it is organized (Law 2) the reader doesn’t recognize it’s complexity.
When creating websites for our clients we believe the most important step to a functional website is the Information Architecture. We feel this way because, having the information on the site is only half the battle because if you can’t find it then what good is it?
Organizing the information so a viewer can navigate through it easily is our main goal. We ask our clients what success metrics need to be met in order to know we were successful at giving them a website that helps them meet their goals. The most common answer our clients give is that they would like their users to be able to find the information they seek without having to call or email customer support. Our client’s goal is to have the user find the information themselves.
As long as we do our job properly, our client’s users will find it simple to acquire the information they need intuitively while using our client’s site. Our job is to make sure the users see simplicity on the site and not complexity.