App development has transformed into a complex process where simplicity trumps the features and functionalities. Creating that balance between a powerful application with a rich feature-set and a simple interface is a seemingly hard task. Numerous features, use cases, page flows or app-user interactions can often render the design messy. However, as designers and app developers, what do they do?
The answer to this apparently complicated question is actually quite simple: Keep it simple! Cut the non-essential components and focus on the essential ones.
But, it is easier said than done. How do they simplify a 10-foot long specifications sheet? Can you still manage to keep the design simple? How can you focus on the essential components of the app while maintaining the aesthetics of the UI?
Turns out, it is possible; almost always! Good design emulates the principles of less is more. To quote Dieter Rams, “Good Design is as Little Design as Possible: Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.”
Here is a 6-point checklist to ensure that you do not over-complicate a product that can be kept simple:
Remove all the non-essentials from the specification sheet; focus only on what features you really need
Eliminate any and all forms of nice to have” elements from your app design
Select and stick to a simple scheme of colors from the color palette
Avoid the application of flashy images, gradients, and shadows
Implement interface elements and interaction patterns on the screen that the users are familiar with
Limit user interaction on the screen to one, so as not to overload the screen with too many call-to-actions
Even Steve Jobs swore by the coda: “Design is not what it looks like or feels like. Design is how it works.” The constant addition of elements to the app does not solve a problem, it only adds to it.