Simple is hard

By Kyle Baley Date 12/02/2011  

If you’ve ever installed Microsoft Office, you’ve probably asked yourself this question; Why does Word need to know my initials? And if I leave them out, will it think I’m up to something?

It’s questions like that which inspired us to keep things simple at BookedIN. We didn’t want you to see a bunch of options and check boxes when you logged in. We didn’t want to ask you a bunch of unnecessary questions. Basically, we didn’t want to “Microsoft” our application.

Most software is too complicated. And here’s why: it’s easier to make software complicated than it is to make it simple. It’s easy to throw a new screen into your application and give people instructions on how to turn it off if they don’t want to. Or wait until your customers complain and then remove it.

It’s much harder to ask the question “how and why would someone use this feature?” before building it. Harder because it leads to even more difficult ones like “what goal am I trying to accomplish?” and “how do I know I’ve succeeded?” and “what happens if something goes wrong?”

At BookedIN, one of the underlying tenets of any new feature is simplicity. That’s why we ask those questions. We think software should stay out of your way.

Consider the Office dialog I mentioned above. See what kind of results you get when you Google “Please enter your full name and initials below” and tell me if someone asked “why?” before adding it in.