Do you know when “less is more”?

Last updated by Brady Stroud [SSW] 10 days ago.See history

We live in a complicated world with too many distractions, where information overload is commonplace. “Less is more” is all about keeping things simple and achieving a design with the least number of elements required to deliver a message effectively.

Video: Less is more (5 min)

Keep it simple

"Just because we can does not mean we should"

It is common to include design elements, features, or product enhancements solely because we think we should. This approach can unnecessarily complicate a design and overwhelm a user.

Applying "Less is more"

Thumbnail designs

Piers Before
Figure: Bad example - Overcrowded thumbnail design with too many elements

Piers After
Figure: Good example - Simpler thumbnail design with less visual elements

By keeping things simple, we reduce complexity and avoid cognitive overload for our users. Making simple changes like using shorter, more descriptive language or minimising the overall number of design elements will make the overall message of a design much clearer to understand.

UI interface

home page bad example v2
Figure: Bad example - Event cards have many rows and highlights

home page good example v2
Figure: Good example - Event information have fewer highlights

Stage background

Jake Presenting before
Figure: Bad example - Presenter with graphically busy background

Jake Presenting after
Figure: Good example - Presenter with simple textured background

Office layout

office bg bad
Figure: Bad example - cluttered office background

office bg good v2
Figure: Good example - neater office background

So next time you think about designing something, try to keep it simple and remember... “less is more”.

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