I read this article on Fast Company today that I thought made a great statement for web design. Google has been admired for its simplicity, and others have tried to mimick their success. Marissa Mayer is the guru of simplicity at Google she was interviewed in the article and sheds some light on Google’s success. Here is a quote from the article that I really thought hit the nail on the head:
“Google has the functionality of a really complicated Swiss Army knife, but the home page is our way of approaching it closed. It’s simple, it’s elegant, you can slip it in your pocket, but it’s got the great doodad when you need it. A lot of our competitors are like a Swiss Army knife open–and that can be intimidating and occasionally harmful.”
This is something that I have to keep in mind in any of the projects that I undertake. I always want to add more and cooler features, but that can end up bogging down a site’s clean interface. A site that is meant for the average user should be simple enough for the average user. It isn’t the average user that wants to jump into all of the cool features right at first. I think the features should be available if desired, but closed in the knife as the analogy suggests.