Freedom from Complexity – Simplicity sells
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. — Leonardo Da VinciMany people would think simple solution mean lack of functionality. In contrast, it really means there is consideration of various requirements of users and solution provides a fast learning curve. It's sophisticated solution minus complexity. Have you ever asked yourself that why do you prefer simplicity over complexity? When we were so little, we wanted everything to be simple and straight-forward. Most of us, when thinking of an issue or requirement or need, we try to map that thinking to a part or step in the solution. There is direct link. This is what every customer or consumer look in the products these days. They are looking for bond between their thinking and solution they are looking at. If a product or solution cannot create that kind of bond quickly then it faces a "lack of interest" or sometimes "rejection". A solution should be able to represent a story that user narrated but we would include happy ending. It is all about understanding the needs and mapping this understanding into solution and yet keeping it simple.
Ease of use and Attraction
Humans love things with "ease of use" label. The only reason, it makes our life simple and more productive. Since childhood we have been watching things getting simpler. We have seen many innovations which made humans interaction "simple" like email, smartphones and now, smart wearables. The things are going through different phases i.e. bigger to smaller, thicker to thinner, taller to shorter etc . The good example is mobile phones. Mobile phones were bigger in the start and then with changing technology they got smaller, thinner and shorter. It got easier for people to carry mobile phones in their pocket or hold it in hand. Now, they are getting bigger again but still easy to use with great design and style. People can perform many tasks while being mobile.
We are more attracted to simple setup, features and designs. We don't want to spend much time to learn things and willing to get on top quickly. Now, if you remember when "Kinetic Honda" scooter was released for first time then it got attention of many people because it could be started with one button touch. An electric start and that was so simple ! In fact, it never stops and we always want things to be simple and there are many people who prefer simplicity over complexity or their balance. That's why we need to understand which features attracts the customer more and introduce them in our products and services. Using following image, please ask yourself that which one is much easier to setup and learn
Simple Consumer Apps
These days some of the the consumer apps reflect simplicity. Consumer apps are carefully designed to cater user needs and yet provide a simple intuitive interface. It enhances user experience, productivity and hence happy customer. Most of us have explored some or few Health and fitness apps to track our fitness goals or for some other purpose. Definitely, when we go to gym it provides benefits such as better equipments, training and atmosphere. It can be expensive though and sometimes people miss the involvement factor. They go and do exercises at their own and with little understanding of techniques. Personally, I never saw any gym personal to come and tell customer that they are not following the correct technique or whether this exercise is beneficial or not (unless customer has paid fees for personal trainer). Therefore, people turned out to be using fitness/workout apps. Most of the apps have techniques and workout settings that you can follow and configure but can be cumbersome sometimes. What if, there is an app which shows us how to do it (like real person) and involve us to finish workout. Let's see how simple is following app (Daily Workouts on the App Store. 2016). Click on workout, workout reps are already defined, select your workout time, workout benefits and technique is clearly visible and performing trainer involve you to do it. How simple is that ! By the way, this app looks very intuitive on 2015/2016 smartphones.
Source: Daily Workouts App
Simplicity can be found in any of these : Interactive learning resources, software development, mobile application development, business management, and analytics. Analytics? Well, yes ! Corporations are gaining more maturity when it comes to analytics and they are considering analytical solution as organization's strategic goal. Due to this reason, they look for analytical tool/solution/services in the market. Simple is one factor that attract such customers. They want to jump straight to data so that decision making can be started. Therefore, they look for solution with proper flow, involvement and easy to follow. Despite limited product line focussed on data discovery, Tableau was on top list of Gartner magic Quadrant of BI and Analytics 2015. Tableau achieved highest scores in terms of breadth and ease of use and enabling users to rapidly leverage insights. Tableau customers also reported faster-than-average report development times.
Source: Gartner (February 2015)
SAP is working towards consolidation of their wide list of business intelligence tools to provide simplified BI toolset. The goal is to provide interoperability between these tools so that users are able to learn and adopt them quickly.
Simple Analytical Apps
So, what are the other solutions in Analytics where simplicity play role? The answer is "Analytical Apps". Analytic applications are a type of business application, used to measure and improve the performance of business operations. Businesses are looking for rapid insights and data discovery on any device and therefore their approach for information need is changing. Again, SAP has considered this approach seriously and they introduced "Fiori Apps". Fiori is not a product line rather its platform for SAP business applications and easily deployable on any kind of device. Applications built using this platform are based on design principals and one of the principal is "Simple". It means (SAP says,) "you can complete your job intuitively and quickly. Simplicity helps you focus on what is important – essential functions are easy to use and you can personalize the experience to focus on your relevant tasks and activities." (Experience SAP. 2015). These apps have taken attention of many whether they are business users or developers.
easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.: a simple matter; simple tools | not elaborate or artificial; plain: a simple style. | not ornate or luxurious; unadorned: a simple gown. | unaffected; unassuming; modest:a simple manner | not complicated: a simple design | not complex or compound; single | occurring or considered alone; mere; bare: the simple truth; a simple fact
The message is clear that we need to adopt simple tools to create simple design which will have simple style with flavour of soberness and represent a simple fact/truth. "Simple" has been around for long time and therefore it is must have feature in your product or service. Simplicity has to be part of core principles, design strategy and business goals. Not only, it provides a better user experience but also help to simplify the development tools. Integration becomes more flexible. Simplicity in analytics is all about rapid insights and data discovery. We can build innovative business intelligence solution with analytical applications. We understand and prefer simplicity as it just works and hence, it sells.
Daily Workouts on the App Store. 2016. Daily Workouts on the App Store. [ONLINE] Available at:https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/daily-workouts/id469067434?mt=8. [Accessed 12 February 2016].
Rita L. Sallam, Bill Hostmann, Kurt Schlegel, Joao Tapadinhas, Josh Parenteau, Thomas W. Oestreich. 2015. Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.microstrategy.com/us/company/analyst-reviews/gartner-magic-quadrant. [Accessed 21 February 16].
Experience SAP. 2015. SAP Fiori Design Principals. [ONLINE] Available at:https://experience.sap.com/fiori-design/foundation/design-principles/. [Accessed 21 February 16].
Simple | Define Simple at Dictionary.com. 2016. Simple | Define Simple at Dictionary.com. [ONLINE] Available at: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/simple. [Accessed 05 February 2016].
cellphonereviews.com, (2012), Cell phone evolution [ONLINE]. Available at:http://www.cellphonereviews.com/images/cell-phone-evolution.png [Accessed 08 February 16].