Simplicity sells.

At least for this age.
By simplicity, i mean simplicity in design.

Increased mainstream use
And i'm talking about technology in general.
Computers, cellphones, projectors, anything techy, used to be left to the geeks and the pros.
Now, with the 'advancement' in operating systems, and user interfaces, the mainstream community is embracing technology as it comes along.
Look out around you. If you are in a university, chances are, 70% of the people you see own a laptop.
If you are in Singapore, every family as an average of 1 computer.
If you are anywhere near a city, every PERSON holds a cellphone.

Things are getting smaller, more powerful, and more capable.

People, however, are not really learning much more about the intricacies and workings of how a cellphone, for example, works.
They want it to, in line with the marketing campaign of Apple, 'just work'.

So how would the devices 'just work'?
They don't. Alot of R&D is put in. In fact, ALL tech companies do R&D. But the areas of R&D are vast. And seeing that tech companies are just that, R&D should be going into how to make the device faster, smarter, last longer, more powerful right?


The market has changed. The mainstream community is now a large part of the market. No longer are those who use computers, hackers. The average housewife probably has used a computer before.

Simplicity in design
So here comes the simplicity. The simplicity in design.

Sure, the devices still do the things they do. But they present it in a simple and easy to understand manner. The interface which the user uses to communicate with the device, to get it to do what he/she wants, must be easy to understand, nice to look at, and 'just work'.

Designing a simple interface is easy. Designing a simple and effective, yet appealing interface is hard. And this is where companies are starting to focus their funds on. See 'Apple'.

And in the future, when everyone catches on the game, and user interfaces get so darn easy, a 3 year old can use it, thats where the trouble comes again.

The trouble of simplicity
Despite the main bulk of the market consisting of people who want things to just work, and not bother about HOW it works, there are still some geeks out there. Like me. Or the general curious guy.

When people get too caught up in simplicity, they take away the freedom, and they take away choice. 'My product does this. You will only be able to do this, in this set way, with it.'
This seems to be the direction Apple Corporation is heading. And the premium in cash they charge on their devices is to make things 'just work'. However, the unseen premium levied upon end users is the removal of freedom. The removal of the choice to see how it actually works.

One company that seems to be heading in the right track seems to be Google. Simplicity in design, meeting open source software. Giving the best of both worlds. Or so it seems.
Balancing the scales between user-friendliness and user-choice is in no means an easy task. They seem to be doing well so far though, handling us consumers.

We can be split into two kinds of consumers, the 'ignorant', and the 'think they're too smart'.
The ignorant doesn't know the difference between the CPU and the GPU, and the 'smarty pants' try to get their devices to overwork both. In both situations, the device doesn't get to be used as intended.

OK. I'm ranting too much. This post has lost its coherence. I'm sorry.

My point is, Simplicity is important. It is not easy to achieve. It is more than meets the eye.
And too much of anything can be a bad thing.


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