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The KISS Principle in Design

When attacking a design project of any kind, it is important to remember the KISS (keep it simple stupid) principle. This principle applies to all forms of design, but is especially true when working with graphic and web design projects.

I am addressing this now because I have dealt with projects in the past where the client has asked for more and I have been obliged to fulfill their wants, but it was against good design principles. Recently, I have been working on a couple of projects and I have been encouraging this principle all over again because it does make a difference.

Simplicity does not have to be blank or dumb down the design, it simply means that there is not too much going on in the design. The more you have going on in the design, the more complicated it is. When you are talking about logo design, this can become very important to consider. Is the logo easy to remember? If not, you probably have too much complexity among other things at play. When you are talking about web design, a simple website often yields to a better user experience. The more complex the website, the more opportunity the website user has for confusion. The more confused or frustrated an user is with a website, the faster they are to leave the website without finding the information they came looking for.

The website’s primary purpose is the presentation of information and we often forget this purpose when we are designing. We forget and design to entertain people when what they want is information about products and services. Delivering this information in a pleasant format is preferred and makes for a great user experience in which the user is most likely to remember and return, but it is not likely to excite them if they have to work harder or longer to get to the information. The experience should be comfortable, pleasant, and inviting. As a user, that is all they ask. If they want entertainment, they will specifically go to a website that is intended to entertain. If your product, service, or company’s purpose is not to entertain, then your website’s focus should follow suit.

Do not forget your focus.