Brain Blips and Beautiful Simplicity
The other day I was providing feedback on a logo design and I was reminded of some words of fashion wisdom from Coco Chanel. She advised women to remove one item before leaving the house, or else risk being over accessorized. It was the same with the logo. Removing one element transformed it from a brand mark that, while interesting, would have created a bit of chaos for the eye.
I thought of it again a couple of nights ago while listening to Jack Dorsey of twitter and square fame explain how he was driven towards beautiful simplicity on Charlie Rose. Beautifully simplicity. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
I often wonder why simplicity can be so elusive, so downright difficult to achieve. Is it because of an inclination that we need and crave all information available? Is it because we’re accustomed to doing things in a particular way which has obscured other paths? Are we wired to tinker, to add more, do more, to over-communicate?
As I’ve tried to envision how to simplify (processes, design, communication), I feel no closer to final answers, but I have learned the importance of that first step of acknowledging opportunity for improvement.
Learn to recognize when your eye trips over an element in a design or your thinking is slowed by a step in a process, even if only for a blip of a second. I equate these feelings to the pause you feel as your brain tries to autocorrect typos or determine if an unknown word in a sentence obscures your understanding of a concept. It can sometimes be subtle, easily ignored.
My #1 lesson learned in the quest for simplicity is this:
Don’t ignore the things that make your brain stumble.
Each little blip could be a nudge toward a more beautiful simplicity. I’m assessing my process for all sorts of things, how I connect and communicate, how to recognize when technology aids or deters an undertaking. Until I figure it out, I think I’ll apply Coco’s rule of minus one.
Posted on: 01.12.2011