It was Leonardo Da Vinci that said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

It was not news to him that achieving simplicity was a complex and elegant achievement. It was the key to making something accessible, usable, and remarkable.

The concept has been drummed into our heads over and over: Follow the K.I.S.S principle, Less Is More, The Greatest Ideas Are The Simplest. So why do we make things so complicated?

We, as humans, tend to overcomplicate things in order for them to feel more productive. We over-analyze. We take on more than we can chew. We refuse to accept Occam’s Razor – the simplest solution is almost always the best.

The truth is, the simpler the process, the more productive we are, and the less stress we feel. We can get more done, in less time, and move a few steps closer to the ever-elusive work-life balance.

As designers of user-experiences there are several principles we follow to achieve the goal of simplicity and productivity. We have already mentioned Occam’s Razor. Here are a couple more…

Hicks Law:

This law is all about simplicity. It states that the more choices a user is presented with, the longer it will take them to make a selection, and ultimately make the process more difficult. Simplifying the process of setting up a system, or executing an action creates less friction, increased productivity, clarity and focus and decreases stress.

Pareto Principle:

This is also known as the 80/20 rule – a large percentage of outcomes (80%) are caused by a small percentage of inputs (20%). Why is this important to us? Well…we made sure to prioritize the 20% of options that create the largest impact to both system admins, as well as the end users. We stripped away the fluff and focused on simplicity and effectiveness.

Our dogged focus on simplicity extended from setting up and integrating the SmarterSends system into the host ESP all the way through to finding the most uncomplicated way a non-technical user could create, schedule and deploy a marketing message out of SmarterSends.

Management have better things to do than spend weeks getting a new piece of software up and running, and integrated into their marketing stack. End-users have better things to do than spend weeks learning ANOTHER platform that will complicate their day-to-day workflow even more.

With SmarterSends, integration with the host ESP takes less than 5 minutes. Setting up the system takes less than an hour and getting an end user trained and using the system takes less than 45 minutes.

So here is to simplicity, less stress, increased productivity and embracing a true work/life balance.

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