To Be Successful Through Simplicity
About 6 months ago, my 24 month old daughter pointed to the top of my laptop and said: “apple!” I laughed and shook my head, told her she was brilliant, and then gave a nod to Steve Jobs in the larger beyond. I have to admit, there is such genius in Apple’s simplicity.
That is, in my opinion, the holy grail of digital media: to be successful through simplicity. To be so simple that my two year old knows the name of the brand by just looking at the product. So simple that she will, now, always associate apples with computers.
Simple is easy. People love easy. People consume “easy” in their quiet minutes waiting for a latte, or in the carpool line at school. Complicated gets tossed aside for later. Or never. Complicated gets a high bounce rate. Simple goes viral.
But here’s the thing about simple media: it isn’t simple to make. Most of the time we are handed really complicated tasks and our job is to make it look simple. Make it look easy, as the saying goes. Our goal is to take our clients’ complex business models with very large amounts of information and intricate data and serve it to the world in the equivalent of beautiful, see-through, virtual storage containers with well-organized compartments labeled with tabs written in every single language. But it doesn’t stop there. In order to make it even simpler, and even easier for you (yes, you), we also create many, many versions of that storage container and give you the one that our sources say you will like the best. And you know what? We really like doing it—we really want to reach the holy grail. (Who doesn’t?)
There is beauty in simplicity. There is addiction in simplicity. There is understanding in simplicity. Take, for example, this gorgeous set of infographics by Toby Ng: The World of 100. They’ve been around for a few years and I think of them literally all the time as a perfect example of how accessible complex information can be when you present it simply.
Personally, I think the image of Freedom is the most compelling, but it’s a hard choice. They all hit you upside the head—and they do so through clarity, through visual intelligence, through simplicity, with ease.
So while we at Digital Bungalow are striving to create websites that are the most consumable, addictive, understandable, not to mention beautiful, examples of simple digital media, we will continue to nod to those in the industry who have already done so. After my two year old point them out, of course.