Currently viewing the tag: "Simplicity and innovation"

Human nature

Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does Nature, because in her inventions, nothing is lacking and nothing is superfluous.” Da Vinci

Our constant desire to look at something that is not made by man is common to almost all the people who inhabit this planet and however we don’t know why we feel impelled to this observation.

The impact that many of the things that constitute the place where we inhabit and the places we visited as well as the life that exists therein is so great that we wonder why in all this nothing seems to be superfluous, that is, everything seems to be simple.

It is a fact that the last few years were characterized by an “excessive” speed of transformations which gave no margin for great reflections.

We try to understand the secrets of nature to change it in order to take benefit of these changes and therefore through observation we seek inspiration.

Although, unable to match the works of nature, men and women, nevertheless never aside the notion that these principles of Nature, simplicity, direction and balance are the core of creativity, innovation, and change.                 

The impact of simplicity!

We know now, that the simplicity increasingly captive in an environment where interactions are more complex. Take decisions or make choices, it becomes increasingly difficult and where there is instability and speed we claim for simplicity, the only way to monetize the time and create harmony.

People want products and services simple, with clear guidance and that things work quickly at the first time, without much effort, this is, in perfect balance.

As John Maeda said: My favorite products that embody simplicity are usually those that have no microprocessor embedded in them:

1.) Spoon: makes it so my soup doesn’t fall in my lap.

2.) Hammer: I understand how to use it without a manual.

3.) Paper: even without a pen, you can make something real (origami).

4.) Calculator: because I’m terrible at math.

5.) People: I love people — they’ve got the best microprocessor in the world – the human brain.

But simplicity often implies in its construction, a hard work and complex.

For example, when people say that something is “intuitive”, they mean it makes sense to anyone, but they do it using their own frame of reference that is not necessarily equal to that of other people. This expression can be valid for a wide range of people if the work of the companies resulting from the identification of common uses facilitators to these people.

If we are talking about, for example, software, comparing the conditions of use of Microsoft Word a few years ago with the conditions of today we can say that this work tool is far more intuitive than before. There was a deep work in order to facilitate its use but that is not always pacific.

Companies want to differentiate themselves. Companies want their customers to remain loyal but their employees want to show that they are intelligent and creative and forget that this may not be the attitude of clients.

Customers don’t want to think about the tool because they want to focus on what they do, listening to a song, a business task or simply send a message if they have in hands an instrument that they know they have these functions.

For example, ” Apple completely understands the value of an intangible asset like software; whereas many companies still live in the physical world where product size; weight, and overall heft carries more political clout.

Because Apple “gets” the software revolution, they just build the right kind of electronic gadgets around it; whereas other companies make products then try to stuff the Internet inside them as an afterthought. Thus the three key design challenges are simple:

– Software, software, software. Consider your hardware delivery platform as irrelevant, and first get the software experience right.

– Understand and communicate simplicity. Adopt “simplicity” as part of your branding strategy, and deliver it in your product line.

Use less, think more. While delivering an object with fewer functions to increase usabililty, make each function work better by putting more cash / effort into it. – John Maeda

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Simplicity is not complicated

Simplicity is a perception that we have of an experience and does not reside in the product or service.

Simplicity is the minimally satisfying solution that comes with the lowest cost and as a perception that depends on me and the context where the experience is lived.

Simplicity is a function of time, money, physical effort, the rules and routine.

-Time matters because if I have little time available is good that the solution be applied quickly.

-Money is almost always crucial because if I have little money I need simple (low) prices.

-How much less effort I spent troubleshooting simpler it is, this means that my brain also has rest.

-If the rules are broken I feel uncomfortable with fear of social criticism.

-And if the routine is changed more discomfort.

Many people agree wholeheartedly with these assertions and for them the simplicity, though it differs from person to person, is all that is perceived as producing little consumption, either the time or energy.

A task is perceived as simple if a person complete with fewer resources than expected, that is, a task is simple if the person had hoped that the solution is more difficult.

So expectations have a large role in simplicity!

When we perform a task the way we perceive the simplicity may be from a higher degree, similar to admiration to the lowest as frustration. Depending on the size of the cost and the level of expected benefits also may result in the sense of gratitude or competence to grow, contentment or satisfaction, feeling of resentment or impotence.

“Simple Rules For A Complex World” is one of the points raised by Greg Satell in his excellent article “The Simple Dilemma” and where we read:

“The evidence is clear:  There’s nothing simple about simplicity.  Our world is getting ever more complex.  Computational power is increasing exponentially.  Barriers are breaking down.  Outcomes are extremely sensitive to initial conditions because events materialize out of unplanned interactions.

Therefore, our goal should not be to seek out ultimate simplicity, but maximum manageability and there are some basic principles that can help us do that.”

Although I agree with much of what Greg says, I feel a huge desire to continue the search for greater simplicity and because simplicity is perceived differently from person to person I also wanted to manage complexity in a way it becomes simple.

In fact the world is full of clutter and full of contradictions.

The energy that makes us move arises from the conflicting choices and emotions.

We rarely have a reasonable spread of options, and much less opportunity to create a new one. Almost always we are led to press the button on the choices that are offered and for which our contribution was null and where our knowledge often boils down to some anchors there left to not cause rejection. But it is not always so!

 “We spend a lot of time studying how to make things simpler—how to make them user centered. It’s important to be thoughtful about this. Thoughtful enough not to simplify things the usual way by throwing away all the complicated parts.” – LARRY KEELEY, President, The Doblin

Simplicity has as mission to make the complex clear.

Simplicity seeks to create a particular order, but that leverage dynamic change, experimentation, the emergence of ideas, innovation and learning.

This order results from the creation of clarity and meaning to people who is doing their work.

“Simplicity works because it is based on human nature and common sense, not on corporate logic.

First: Start with the assumption that most people want to do the right thing and make a difference.

Second: Recognize that we’re living in a world of infinite choices, and that most people are truly struggling to figure out what will make the most difference. (Remember that even if you’ve created shared mindset, the human need to make one’s own choices will play out every time.)

Conclusion: Create order through clarity. Invest in how people really make choices.

This is my simplicity!

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Inspired by Gary Hamel, Bj Fogg and Greg Satell