Key Design Concepts That Have Made a Difference...
per John Maeda...
Hide complexity behind
a simple door
Remove choice to make
Iconic gesture for choosing
The longstanding discipline by Google to keep
the homepage limited to a single search box has
been key to maintaining its simplicity. Once a
search term is typed into Google, it gets complex
really quickly -- but you don’t notice it at first.
Analogy: The Motorola Startac phone introduced
a clamshell design that hid all the complexity --
to be revealed only when used.
By removing the need to choose portrait versus
landscape mode, Instagram made it easier for
the user. Only square photos could be taken on
Instagram -- which were uncommon at the time
and could stand out. Instagram made things
Analogy: Similar to when Steve Jobs removed
the extra buttons on a mouse to have only one
button. In doing so, the Mac became known for
Traditional computers are grounded in the one-
or two-button mouse -- which tends to promote
“clicking” and minimal dragging. The touch
screen introduced a new element: swiping.
When supported by animation, it speaks of
Analogy: The “slide to unlock” feature on the
Apple iPhone introduced the idea of translating
an emphatic motion to a button press.