Yo state of mind

Minimalist thought in application development

Murali Narasimhan
Jul 10, 2014 · 2 min read

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.

    Murali Narasimhan

    Written by

    Software entrepreneur, armchair film critic. Inarguable fact - Three men in a Boat is the most humorous book ever written (I said nothing about the dog).