A trend that’s sweeping through the technology industry is simplicity. The idea is starting to make its presence felt in other areas too. Business tends to make things complicated because it’s easier that way. Hence many products are over-engineered and feature a myriad of functions that most ordinary people will never need or use. A recent survey by the Consumer Electronics Association in the US found that 87% of people (customers) cite ease of use as the most important feature of any new product. Another survey claims that 50% of the products that are returned as ‘faulty’ are in fact in perfect working order — it’s just that people don’t have the time to figure them out. So what’s the solution? Making products simple is actually very complicated. First you need to make your company simple. This means simplifying not only structure and process, but also culture and mission. A good example of a company that’s been ‘simplified’ is Philips. The company now runs just seventy businesses instead of five hundred and there are five divisions instead of fifty. There’s even a Simplicity Advisory Board to ensure that things are made simple but not simpler.

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One Response to Simplicity

  1. Rob Smorfitt says:

    Could not agree more. We have all seen the vcr with the flashing 00:00. Need to get kids more involved in design perhaps, as they have no technophobia and love new technology.
    Rob Smorfitt

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