The KISS principle, the famous acronym for “keep it simple stupid” – a design principle noted first by the US Navy in 1960 – has had many variations over the decades. But till today it remains just as relevant. Keeping a design simple and free of useless complexities helps you move towards your design goals quickly and successfully. Minimalist concepts have been in vogue for centuries, but with the digital revolution, they have taken on new meaning and significance.
Let’s look at some basic principles of UX design that will help you stay focused on your design goals with simplicity and minimalist approach.
1. Its all about the User
If you thought your work should reflect your awesome thought processes, think again. UX is all about improving user experience. Your brilliant design may not be the one that the user wants. Go for user testing and other methods to learn what the users are looking for. Step out of your shoes and engage with the user for your design process.
2. Cut out the fluff
Reduce down to the core elements. Identify the system essentials. This is a difficult task as your clients may have their own ideas about including legacy assets such as content, brand elements, design treatments, and so on. But remember, simplification depends on how well you are able to control the inclusion of elements. The objective is to render a simple user experience without sacrificing usability.
3. Maintain familiarity
User experience is about making the user feel comfortable and enhances ease of learning. Keep the consistency level by including some features that are similar with other popular products. This will help users feel familiar with your design, and they will learn to use it without taxing their mind or fiddling around too much. This in turn enhances user experience. For example, the floating action button is now commonly used in apps, from Twitter to Google Docs, from WhatsApp to Gmail. Simplicity is about making understanding easy.
4. Use simple words
Copywriting is an important part of UX and it has to be focused towards building an easily understandable user experience. Avoid jargon, technical words, long complex sentences, flowery language and unnecessary words. Maintain simplicity in the key elements – focus on the typography, layout, and information graphics. Remember to find the answers to these questions that will help you develop your copywriting
- who is your audience
- what they need
- what information they have
- how will you help them fulfil their need with your communication
5. Create a user persona
A user persona will help throw light on your users’ needs and goals. Unless you understand better who you’re designing for, your design will fall short of goals. Creating a user persona takes no time at all and anyone can do it. Dig a little on research, draw up a blueprint. This homework will pay rich dividends when you start an interactive prototype.
If you want your product to be simple you need to define a core value and identify who will need this product really. Once you have that in your crosswire, the path becomes clearer and goal focused.