Simple?

I’ve always been a big fan of simplicity.  I like products, services, and technology that make my life simpler.  I especially love systems that simply processes for all involved.

I read a post on Kem Meyer’s blog a few months ago about simplicity that made a lot of sense.  Here are my favorite excerpts:

There’s always something you can simplify. In fact, I had one meeting today about simplifying our web site and have one scheduled for tomorrow about simplifying our volunteer sign-up process. In both cases, our current solution makes sense to us internally, but is stalling out externally. Instead of defending why we do it the way we do, we’re going to figure out what needs to change. That means we have some work to do.

Simple is smart and it’s hard work. Complicated is ignorant and it’s lazy. Just sayin’.

I love the line, “it makes sense to us internally, but is stalling out externally.”  It shows their willingness to simply the process not only for insiders, but also for outsiders – in their case, guests.  Often times it’s simpler for those on the inside to keep things the way they are, but if outsiders get lost on your website, in your store, can’t follow your concept, or are just plain confused by your system – maybe the best thing (for you and for them) is to make things simple for those on the outside.  The long-term growth and success of your organization, at some level, depends on outsiders.

The last line in the quote about is often one of the reasons that simplicity gets overlooked.  It’s hard work!  You have to plan, execute, evaluate, plan, execute, evaluate, plan, etc.  It might take you months or even years to make a process or a system simple for those on the outside.

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