Good design is not clunky

I write this while borrowing an Acer laptop to capture these thoughts.

Growing up I have always used a Mac, so there is an obvious bias here, however one of the main component in Apple’s success is their brand experience and their products ease of use.

Let’s break it down:

Apple’s brand experience:

When you purchase an apple product, as a consumer you are provided with a particular brand experience.

There has been extremely careful consideration that balances the following:

  • The reveal of the packaging design
  • The enjoyment and experience of the unboxing
  • The subtle but noticeable product design features
  • The fulfilment of product use

These are a small selection of minor details that when combined make a big impact. This is what provides brand value – justifying the price of their products.

Apple’s ease of use:

Although the brand experience plays a large role in generating customer loyalty, when creating something that is built for use, a design element that should never be overlooked is ease of use.

Good design is simple, timeless and efficient.

To paraphrase a scene from the biopic portrayal of Steve Jobs, while comparing the Mac and the PC computer functionality:

“If I want to tell someone there is a spot on their shirt, I’ll point at the spot. I do not say there is a spot 14cm down from the collar and 4cm to the right of the second button. That is not how the mind works.”

The above is very true.

Although different minds are capable of handling different levels of complexity, when provided with ease of use, there is rarely a complaint.

There is never a need for unnecessarily complicated usability when simplicity is available. When this is done we provide ourselves with the definition of bad design.

To conclude:

When building a brand or approaching a project avoid the clunky way of thinking and prioritise simplicity.

Unnecessary complexity does not work seamlessly under the banner of a well-designed product or brand experience.