Simplifying Digital Products

Wouter de Bres
Nov 23, 2015 · 1 min read

This weekend I was writing down some thoughts on how companies can simplify their digital product. My conclusion was that it all comes down to what Dieter Rams said: “Weniger, aber besser” (“Less, but better”). Create more value by creating less. Products that are easy to understand are more likely to be used, because less elements, features and styling reduce the cognitive loading speed of the interface and product, which leads to a more confident and happy user.

Here are some tips that can help simplifying digital products:

  1. Have less features
  2. Give your users less choice
  3. Use less elements
  4. Use less styling
  5. Use less font sizes & types
  6. Choose light & bright colors
  7. Use proportions (e.g. 12, 24, 48)
  8. Use a grid
  9. Have clear visual hierarchy
  10. Consistency is key
  11. Don’t be afraid of obvious design solutions/patterns
  12. Whitespace is your friend
  13. Use your users language
  14. Only use animations when they serve a purpose
  15. Use a style guide as lego blocks

Let me know what you think of this list in the comments or on Twitter (@WdeB), all feedback is very welcome!

Wouter de Bres

Written by

Psychologist turned Designer • VP of Product Design at Degreed