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Why do some people make some things more complicated than they need to be? Maybe because it’s actually harder to keep things simple?
Some items that come to mind:
- Processes that are so cluttered that you need a process to manage the process.
- Websites that are designed by committees that argue over font sizes and other things most of us won’t even notice.
- Blog posts that need to be approved by 15 people and by the time they all read them the topic has evolved into a completely different story – sometimes a wrong one.
- Social media posts that were rewritten so many times that they are now promotional messages.
- Email newsletters that have so much stuff in them that readers don’t even know what to do once they open them – if they do open them.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Things can be simple. Some of the best Tweets are short, to the point and not cluttered by stuff nobody outside the planning committee cares about.
One of the many things I love about my iPhone is how simple it is. It looks simple, but is really an advanced piece of technology. Not just that but it’s also super easy to use. I hand it to my 1-year-old and she swipes away at it without ever being instructed how to do it.
Some of my favorite eNewsletters have designs that only include the necessary and not a bit more.
Some of the most eye-opening articles can be super short and even if they are longer they are still written at a sixth-grade reading level – not because its readers can’t read at a higher level but because there’s no reason to make it more complicated.
WordPress is another example of keeping it simple. The back-end editor is easy to use and they kept its design simple. Yes, there are functions and add-ons but the bottom line is that it’s super easy to use.
My hat goes off to the federal government which has noticed the need for simplicity – even when there’s a way to go, yet – with its Plain Language initiative.
To keep things simple, step one is to recognize the need to change. Step 2, figure out how to make it simpler and step 3 to do it.
I hope you’ll take this pledge with me: