Simplicity

User Experience (UX) topic overview/definition

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What is Simplicity?

Simplicity is a design philosophy championed by many successful companies like Apple and Google. When you design with the user's key goals in mind, you are designing for simplicity. Incorporating simplicity in your designs will help you design better user interfaces by helping your users achieve their goals faster and more efficiently, all while enjoying a great user experience.

Literature on Simplicity

Here’s the entire UX literature on Simplicity by the Interaction Design Foundation, collated in one place:

Learn more about Simplicity

Take a deep dive into Simplicity with our course UI Design Patterns for Successful Software.

Structure and order are the user's best friends; without them, navigating through the user interface is similar to someone crawling around a darkened room in search of their spectacles, clutching at anything due to hope rather than accurate judgement. This course will equip you with the knowledge necessary to select the most appropriate display methods and solve some of the common design problems that affect existing user interfaces.

User interface design patterns are the means by which structure and order are achieved, and it is for this reason that they must be given careful consideration before setting the final design in stone. Failing to do so can lead to user interfaces that are difficult or confusing to navigate, or that require the user to commit an unreasonable amount of time to decoding the display rather than achieving his/her original aims and objectives.

Design patterns are available for a reason; they are the best practices derived from successful software applications and websites such as Amazon, YouTube, and Facebook. Each design pattern represents the culmination of years of experience on the part of the interface designers behind these successful companies. So why not learn from the best?

Benefits: By the End of this Course You Will Know How to

  • choose user interface design patterns and use them appropriately,
  • organize content in order to achieve the best possible usability,
  • implement a logical page structure,
  • lead the user through the user interface with minimal effort on their part,
  • simplify data entry,
  • utilize the social aspects of user interface design,
  • influence the behavior of users through the use of dark patterns, and
  • enhance the user experience.

How the Lessons Are Organized

This course comprises eight lessons:

  • Implementing Page Structure: This first lesson will focus on getting the general structure of an interface right. By the end of this lesson, you will better understand how to support users as they try to realize their intentions one page at a time.
  • Organizing Content for the Best Results: If the content is not logically organized, users will get lost. In this lesson, we highlight and detail some of the design patterns that help order content so as to assist users in meeting their aims and objectives.
  • Affording Fluid Navigation: Users are constantly switching between windows, panels, tabs, pages, and content. In this lesson, we introduce patterns that help users to move freely and confidently through the graphical display.
  • Simplifying Data Entry: Some jobs and tasks require a lot of data entry; if even just one input field is inappropriately positioned or designed, it can slow the user down, limit their productivity, and have catastrophic effects for businesses. Here, we’ll show you how to avoid this problem.
  • Social Aspects of UI Design: In this lesson, we describe some of the user interface design patterns that have been introduced in order to improve the social aspects of online communities and networks, with the aim of improving the interactive experience.
  • Dark Patterns: Join us on the more sinister side of user interface design. Some design patterns can be used to coerce, manipulate, and trick users. In this lesson, we’ll show you how to use these patterns responsibly.
  • The Complete User Interface: Now it’s time to merge and apply all the knowledge you have gained during the course in real-world situations. We’ll analyze some great websites to determine how they combine all the available design patterns into successful interfaces.
  • Course Certificate, Final Networking, and Course Wrap-Up: We’ll use this lesson to wrap-up all you’ve learned throughout the course, and we’ll offer you a final opportunity to exchange ideas and inspiration with your peers.

All literature

Hick’s Law: Making the choice easier for users

Hick’s Law: Making the choice easier for users

Now let’s see a topic about keeping our users’ lives easy. “Isn’t that the theme of most articles here?” you may ask. Well, this one is especially geared towards users. Understanding Hick’s law means you can design so that more users will visit and stay on your website. Delivering a good user experience requires that first you find out the func...

  • 303 shares
  • 6 months ago
Information Overload, Why it Matters and How to Combat It

Information Overload, Why it Matters and How to Combat It

Designers often need to convey information to the users of their designs. Specialists in information visualization design in particular find themselves presenting data over and over again to their users. However, it’s important when developing your designs that you don’t create “information overload” – that is presenting so much data that you le...

  • 254 shares
  • 2 weeks ago
Design checklists: What type of designer are you?

Design checklists: What type of designer are you?

What type of designer are you? Do you have a set of principles, checklists, or methods that guide your designs? Or do you prefer to start from scratch and analyze afterwards with a checklist? If you feel more comfortable looking forward, looking backwards– or if you’re a perfectionist who likes to do both – then this article will be useful to yo...

  • 290 shares
  • 7 months ago
Simplicity in Design: 4 Ways to Achieve Simplicity in Your Designs

Simplicity in Design: 4 Ways to Achieve Simplicity in Your Designs

Learn ways to achieve simplicity in your designs and recognize why certain designs are overly complex. Simplicity is evident in many of the widely-used products created by some of the most successful companies. Simplicity is also one of the key reasons why some companies do better than their competitors. Google’s search engine, Apple iPhones, an...

  • 406 shares
  • 2 months ago
Occam’s Razor: The simplest solution is always the best

Occam’s Razor: The simplest solution is always the best

Now that we appreciate the need for simplicity in designs better, let’s see another great concept. You may have heard of Occam’s Razor; did you know that you can apply it to web design? When you’ve got it in your “toolbox”, you’ll have an edge in the marketplace. Occam’s Razor, put simply, states: “the simplest solution is almost always the bes...

  • 290 shares
  • 3 weeks ago
Horror Vacui: The Fear of Emptiness

Horror Vacui: The Fear of Emptiness

Our next article is all about a scary-looking subject in that its title may look ominous. Fear not! It covers a concept that will seem familiarvery quickly. Of course, having a better understanding of it will let you work its antidote into your designs with confidence. Horror Vacui — the fear of not filling upHorror Vacui (a Latin-derived term)...

  • 227 shares
  • 5 months ago
Using Mobile Apps – The One Thumb, One Eyeball Test for Good Mobile Design

Using Mobile Apps – The One Thumb, One Eyeball Test for Good Mobile Design

Mobile designs need to take into account the way that users work with a mobile phone. That means understanding that distractions can come into play when the smartphone is in use and also ensuring that you make the input process as simple as possible to counteract their impact. Luke Wroblewski suggests the “one thumb, one eyeball” test as an effi...

  • 390 shares
  • 3 weeks ago