For most business applications the following rules is true: 80% of the users only uses 20% of the functionality. This brings interesting challenges in product design. I already touched this in an earlier article on Functions & Features versus User Experience.
Over the years most products gain more and more powerful features that are often useful for the power user part of the audience, for the rest of the audience these new feature are often considered noise. Customization and personalization are used to address the signal versus noise ratio. Unfortunately this only increases the over all complexity and studies have also shown that personalization is only used by a small group or users.
Companies like Apple and Google have mastered the art of creating simple and powerful products and used this to differentiate from the competition. This is best expressed by Simplicity by Eric Burke. Recently we also see other companies adopting alternative simpler versions of their products. The best examples are Facebook Lite and YouTube Feather. Based on direct customer feedback these companies have recognized that not all users need all the functionality all the time. Especially the more casual user requires a different signal to noise ratio to remain efficient and productive. It’s worth to note that these ‘lite’ versions do not replace the ‘full’ versions but offer an alternative.
At Exact we are also exploring the opportunities that simplicity can bring. You can help by providing feedback and suggestions in the comment section below.
Photo credit: Will Lion