Thoughts On Simple Interfaces

Ny Times - Simple

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

I spend my time obsessing over simplicity in web design and everything else for that matter, it surround us everywhere if we choose to observe – it interest me to create interfaces that can truly be innovative, immerse the user into an experience, especially one that draws consumers back to the business they love and admire. I often wonder what it is about simplicity that attracts me. Is it the precise pixel coding and rendering in the browser, the stark typeface staring at me inticing me to read, the intuitive navigation system, or the white space that surrounds and snugs the elements ever so perfectly that catches our eyes.

I’ve come to the conclusion that building simple interfaces isn’t all that easy, though it looks quite the opposite. Why should it be, that would take all the fun and learning out of it.

Simple Interfaces Come With Practice, Patience and Research

The only way to learn how to create these interfaces is to build something. When I say build, I don’t mean just a blog, or a normal website. Build a product (this is the best way to learn), plan the design thoroughly, read about how neuroscience can radically change the way we look at UX, understand what attracts user to a digital page, try and retain your users with unique content that draws them back – time and time and time again.

As with almost everything else in the world there is a science behind it and you have to perfect that. There is no limit to innovation, especially in modern front end web development.  How many different ways are there to create a responsive website? I can already name you 3 off the top of my head. Why not create your own?? Dive into the theory of things and master the tools you need to get the job done.

The most important rule is to understand the minds of users, it’s the user that is the sum and end all of everything.

Fail & Fail Often, Yet Remain Consistent

Most people give up after they see a failure looming. Fail and fail often is my mantra; that will eventually teach you to learn from your mistakes and succeed the last time you try-the most vital of them all. If you see something you like, try and take inspiration from it and re-create it.

Sounds like alot of work? It is, however when you get into the groove there are no limits to what you can achieve. Just think, no more cookie cutter designs! There are a plethora of tools out there to help you out: Twitter Bootstrap, Grids, Boiler Plate, Pure IO, Modernizr, and more that can help you in your visualization process. Seek clarity in your thoughts and designs, the more confusion you have in your mind the more confusion you will create in pixels.

Often, it helps taking a break from things, retaining the information you have in your mind and then diving right back in. The passionate ones will never give up..

Read, Read and Read More

I’ve seen people using the same patterns to create the same clunky interfaces and mimicking modern front end development by faking techniques. You can easily spot a design which hasn’t been thought through or one that hasn’t been researched properly. Online reading from credibale sources will help you understand modern principles which you can practice to improve your UI techniques. Interested in understanding how a website loads asynchronously? Sure, we all are. You can start with some of these blogs: NN Nielson, Cooper, Usability Post.

We all embark on new journeys in our lives. I wish you well on your way to hand crafted designs, away from the cookie cutter look and to stuff that you can really be proud of for a lifetime – designs which feel authentic decades to come….