What are some ways to achieve simplicity

Today everything is easier than it used to be - and yet our life is more complex than ever. Because digitization accelerates life and results in an enormous flood of products and information. Consumers constantly have to filter and select information, and they are spoiled for choice when it comes to purchasing decisions. Products and services that can be operated and used intuitively and that make our lives easier are therefore in greater demand than ever.


Everything is getting easier
The smart services and devices have simplified our lives. We can access the world's knowledge anywhere and anytime instead of having to go to libraries. We can exchange ideas with friends and acquaintances at any time, no matter where they are, instead of writing letters and having to wait a long time for an answer. We can also find niche products quickly and easily and order them with a click of the mouse instead of having to go through the shops. We can settle our bills at home instead of rushing to the bank. So everything is much easier than it used to be. Or is it not?

Progress with a hook
The crux of the matter is the horrific speed of the new technologies. At first glance, this seems positive. There are constantly new, even better products and thanks to smart devices, every minute can be used productively to get things done. But the disadvantages weigh heavily: The excess of possibilities and freedom of choice is a burden. And the fast pace quickly creates the feeling of no longer understanding what is going on around us. Or simply having no more time to let things or decisions mature and to react carefully. It threatens to be overwhelmed.

"Here's that quiet little project we've been doing in marketing."

The longing for simplicity
And so many people long for simplicity. Companies that have recognized this and make their customers' lives easier with easily understandable products, services and services have good cards. For example EasyJet with the simple and time-saving check-in, Amazon with its 1-click ordering process, Google and Apple with their intuitive products and services. They have understood how to extract the essentials and either leave out everything that is superfluous or only present it when it is of use to the user.

«Simplicity is the highest level of perfection»
Leonardo da Vinci, Italian painter, sculptor and architect

Simplicity is complex
Simplicity is far from easy to achieve. Because behind something that seems simple there is often a lot of diligence, thought work or ingenuity. So a great idea is easy, but difficult to find. Good design is based on the needs of the user, which requires careful analysis. An appealing text also conveys complex relationships in a clear and understandable manner, which requires a lot of thought from the author. A consistently positive customer experience across all contact points requires sophisticated processes. So it takes a lot of effort and effort to achieve simplicity. Well worth it though. Because simplicity is becoming a key success factor in our increasingly complex society.

"I'm writing you a long letter because I don't have time to write a short one"
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet

Practical example - wines presented according to colors and moods
The Amsterdam wine merchant Prapedistrict makes it easier for wine lovers with limited oenological expertise to choose: In contrast to classic wine shops, the wines here are not sorted by region, but are coded with colors according to taste. The categories range from light yellow marked “Easy” for light, white wines to purple colored “Deep” for full red wines. In addition, moods are assigned to the individual color shades: Summer evening and picnic in the park? «Easy» or «Rosy». Roast lamb for dinner? «Smooth». Source: Article “A New Simplicity” (PDF, 119 KB), from Trend Radar 1.10 of the GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute

Create good feelings
Simplicity has a lot to do with feeling good. There is hardly a stronger selling point. That's why companies should think about what they could do to make their customers feel good. Here are a few examples:
  • Competence. It is good to feel competent. This feeling arises, for example, when the user understands a product intuitively, when he quickly achieves good results or the instructions (e.g. on YouTube) are so simple and understandable that they understand a complex product immediately.
  • Efficiency. Most people appreciate the feeling of using their time sensibly and productively. A car garage could offer free WiFi so that customers can use the waiting time productively and do not lose time bringing and collecting their vehicle.
  • Decision-making security. The more options and the more products, the more difficult it is to choose. This is overwhelming for many customers who are willing to buy. With customer-oriented advice, needs-oriented product presentation, online support with the purchase decision (e.g. through specific questions) or a clear, tight range, companies give their customers the good feeling of making the right decision.
  • Trust. Being able to trust a provider based on experience is a good feeling and creates time for other things. Renowned brands show consumers the way through the jungle of supply like lighthouses. Trust is their recipe for success.

Simplify processes
Simplicity is not only desirable for consumers, many processes and rules are too complex in companies too. If, for example, employees are given decision-making authority and responsibility instead of having to have everything approved and justified, they are not only more motivated, but also more efficient. Because fewer people are concerned with a topic, the processes are lean and the quality of the work is usually higher thanks to personal commitment.

Tip: Read in the article “11 tips for efficient working days” how you can put an end to time wasters. But be careful: complexity is like weeds. It can proliferate again at any time.

Global Simplicity Index
Many leading brands aim to make their customers' lives easier and to offer what customers really want. The Global Simplicity Index from Siegel + Gale shows how consumers rate brands in terms of their simplicity.

Read in the tip article “26 tips that make life easier for customers” how you can inspire customers with simplicity.