I started today by reading a book called Getting Real by 37 Signals. This book was especially recommended to me by several individuals and it sure delivers what it promises. The basic message is that making things simple is the superior way in almost every respect.
To put the teachings to action I spent the day sharing ideas with my friend who has assumed the role as the lead programmer in our project. After a while of tinkering with our website his message was:
You’ve achieved more in two hours than we did in the past two weeks.
This was obviously a joke but it unveils a part of the reality. It all comes down to three things:
- Remove everything unnecessary or confusing.
- Keep everything crucial.
- Make the crucial things simply work.
I used to work in IT project management and usually it was the customer that stopped a reality check being made on the software. The customer was so far away from the developer in the food chain that even simple things could become overly complex.
Whatever the project you’re working with, keep it as close to the fundamentals as possible. Keep it really simple.
Having worked on UI design on multiple occasions has really taught me the invaluable lesson of K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple and stupid). Most websites that people make are usually rather user unfriendly and hard to navigate. Sometimes it’s acceptable if the aim of the site is something different, but especially in social networking sites keeping things simple is key.
If you have time, check out the different versions of Facebook’s layout. It’s fun to see how it has swung from user-friendly to unfriendly version by version. Taking into consideration the scale of the site, they’re doing pretty good in the UI field now.
I hope your project is smooth, simple and understandable when it’s finally launched.
Getting Real is a great book. I’m currently reading Rework, a new book by the same writers, and it’s even better. I highly recommend it. I can lend it to you some day if you want to check it out. 🙂
Thanks Juho for your offer! I absolutely must read that book. I’ll be coming to the scheduled meetings on the Boot camp, so we will meet there.
I hope you get to meet some more of my teammates too. 🙂