You probably know that putting too much food on your plate is a bad idea. Since research shows that filling your plate makes you more likely to eat too much, this is not a good thing for your waistline.
It is also not a good thing for your eyes. If there is no focal point, the food can overwhelm you, and you will be lost in a vortex of frightening calorie – filled nightmares.
You are not going to process your dining experience; all you have to do is start in the least offensive corner and lower until it is gone and your stomach is about to burst.
That’s why, when you head out to nicer restaurants, the chef splits your food into small amounts, so you can take your time and absorb not only the actual eating but also the sensory experience – the sights, the smells, even the sounds. Yes, people. Food is complicated.
Today, I will be talking about simplifying your designs using the same principles used by a chef to ensure you have the most enjoyable dining experience possible.
And just as you are much more likely to return to a restaurant that serves you an experience rather than a mess, your users will be more likely to do the same when your designs are clean, robust and simplified.
We are people programmed to make things complicated. In the field of cultural anthropology, there is overwhelming evidence for this fact, with societies around the world evolving over thousands of years from simple (think ‘hunter-gatherers’ societies) to complex (modern “post” -industrial “countries).
It’s in our DNA to want to add rather than give up, making the job of the designer quite difficult to do.
From your point of view as a designer, it is generally difficult to be objective about the information or design aspects that are “essential” compared to those that are not. Helping can sometimes get a second opinion, but if the person you are looking for is not a tidy designer, they may not have the experience to tell you what is not working and why.
When I am working on a project that has gone the way of the truth, I usually stop and take out the notes I took at the beginning of my process.
The mind maps, diagrams, and lists that accurately reflect my part main focus was supposed to be for the project. It is inevitable that you will lose your main focus at least once during the design process.
That’s okay, as long as you refer to your notes and refresh your memory. Designing around your main focus helps you to be more perceptive about the content covered in your design, as it clarifies what is directly related to that main focus and what is not.
Use the Pareto Principle
The Pareto Principle is something that has been getting a lot of attention in recent years, thanks to personal development gurus Tim Ferris. But just in case you don’t know the basic idea behind it, here’s a quick act.
The Pareto Principle, or the “80-20 Rule,” as it is sometimes called, basically states that 20% of any given element is responsible for 80% of the results, and vice versa.
Designers love the 80-20 rule because it is so applicable to the design process, especially in those areas where information or sales are at the heart of design goals.
When designing your product, website or other deliverables, here are two important questions to ask yourself so that you do not “over-design” those elements that are not needed and so that you can keep your focus. ar. the 20% of the most important elements:
1. Who, in particular, is most likely to benefit most from this design element?
I talked in detail about reducing the focus of your career to zero on one or two specific markets.
You can ask yourself this question at any time during your creative process. Spending time researching the best target markets you can serve will make it much easier for you to identify and understand client needs.
And when it comes time to simplify your designs for this target audience, you will know exactly what they want, how they look for it, and simply how to deliver it to them.
2. How can I provide maximum value to this group of people using the fewest steps?
As an extension of the above idea, your process will become much simpler once you start focusing on the number of steps it will take for your users to go from your design to the information or product they are looking for.
It is helpful to write it out in a literal list; start with the main stage of activity on your website, brochure, poster, etc., and document exactly what needs to happen from there to make the sale.
Once you have done that, the path usually becomes very clear in terms of what is required to bring the user to their destination, and what is not.
Smart It Up
Designers may seem to think that their users are the most loved people in the world because of much of the advice you could read about simplifying your designs.
Scim a few articles and you’ll see what I mean – it’s all about making the key features as clear as they can be so that the user doesn’t have to use their brains for anything.
It can really add that you feel a little sorry for the average user at first because designers seem to think so little of them.
But if you understand the basic principles behind this philosophy, you will realize that designers not only think that their users are stupid, but that they are really smart about creating an experience that meets the needs of the community. the user “hierarchy.”
It’s not that you should automatically assume that people are stupid. Rather, your assumption should be that everyone clever – all of your users are far too busy living productive, interesting lives to waste time when they don’t need to.
Embracing this perspective will make it easier for you not to get involved in what exactly ticks these smart, productive, interesting people, and how you can help them get the right information. they want to continue to absorb their wonderful life. This also has the added effect of letting you get on with your wonderful life.
Your users should be able to get the specific information they need as little effort as possible.
Whether that involves less reading, scrolling or interactivity, make sure you keep your focus on the actual steps required to drive the most results from the least amount of activity.