Much has been said about Yo, the app that sends a “Yo” to your friends and does nothing else. Even I wrote about the mediocrity of such apps in an earlier story. But lately I have realized that the creators of the app (intentionally or not) may have started a new era of minimalistic thinking in software application development. Note, I am not talking about a concrete concept like a UI design but about a state of mind.
Instead of thinking of Yo as an app, we can think of Yo as a method. Let me explain what I mean. Often times when you want to relax or rid your mind of cluttered thoughts, it helps to just concentrate on your own breathing. After a while the mind automatically centers and you don’t have to fight your thoughts anymore and with enough practice your mind can even become this minimalistic organ — absolutely bereft of any thought. Focusing on your breathing is a useful method to achieve a minimalist thought state. Likewise what if we used “Yo” as a method when we develop software applications. Every time we find ourselves getting lost in feature/functionality creep, how about we just think “Yo”. The bare bones functionality of Yo will remind us to focus on thinking of the application in simplest of terms — sort of a “do one thing right” mantra. By using the rigor of “Yo” constantly you will be able to develop lean-mean apps with functionality that is unambiguous and intuitive.
When you write code or design a user interface, just ask the question “How can I Yo this?”. This one question will challenge you to come up with a minimalist version of whatever you are doing at the moment. In the spirit of “Yo” and minimalism I’ll think I’ll stop here.