Everyone in my organization wants to make our products & website as simple as possible for our customers. They've seen articles like the one in the Harvard Business Journal (2012) showing that "Decision Simplicity in the purchase process is the #1 reason why consumers are likely to buy your product, do so repeatedly, and recommend it to others."(Excutive Board) or the article in Forbes, "Marketers Have It Wrong: Forget Engagement, Consumers Want Simplicity,"
The problem we have is that "simple" means different things to different people.
I'm looking for a definition of simplicity or complexity that diverse stakeholders (including corporate strategists, product owners, & especially web designers) can agree on. The more research that supports this definition, the better it will work for my stakeholders.
I've seen three books with useful things to say about simplicity that were written by people who focus on research instead of subjective opinion:
- "The Laws of Simplicity" by John Madea's (2006) written largely from a technology standpoint based on his academic research on design.
- "From Complexity to Simplicity: Unleash Your Organisation's Potential" by Simon Collinson & Melvin Jay (2012) written from an organizational standpoint based on lots of corporate research.
- "Simple: Conquering the Crisis of Complexity" by Alan Siegel (of Siegel+Gale) & Irene Etzkorn (2013) written from largely a product branding standpoint & based on lots of customer research.
However, the only one of these that attempted to define simplicity or complexity was Collinson & Jay. I believe they have a good definition, though it is very abstract:
"Complexity = the number of components in a system + the variety of relationships between these components + the pace of change of both the components and the these relationships."
Has anyone seen a better definition of simplicity or complexity that might appeal to corporate strategists, product owners, & web designers, perhaps one a little less abstract?