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Subtracting the Obvious and Adding the Meaningful


We see kids using a phone with great ease — navigating the menus and applications — this is not because they have become smarter but because the product manufacturer has been thorough and receptive to user experience (and yes, user groups including 2-year-olds).

Tap, Click, Proof equates a Book

To someone who has never worked in Publishing before, seeing a manuscript transform into a book can seem almost magical.

In reality, the process is fairly straightforward and involves multiple functional groups to work together to efficiently handle a process that would otherwise take anywhere between a minimum of 3 months to a year.



, the publishing process is reduced considerably, and the User Experience feels like Magic. There’s tap, click and proof, and it’s DONE.

How did we do it? Removed the obvious, and focused on the important.

So, how should we simplify the user’s experience?

Removing enough elements until everything falls into place, thereby creating an experience that feels easy, and works easy. But let me tell you that that’s not exactly the solution — you are stuck in a giant loophole. In reality, ‘Simple’ is a complicated task.

Any book or web content to explain this concept has three main areas that might be executed in 3 steps, or maybe in 10. All of these can be applied in design, but three of these are essential when it comes to simplifying user interaction.

They are:

1. Reduce

2. Organise

3. Prioritise

Elaborating on the above,


Reduction is fundamental to improving ease-of-use, and a UX designer (and/or a UI designer) must keep a check on this at all times by closely scrutinising the need for every element that is added to the design. This can be implemented in two ways:-

1. Remove Elements

When it comes to design, words, colours and layouts might distract the user and may even become overwhelming at times. As human beings, we have less processing memory and the challenge is to not veer to either extremes and ensure that nothing gets lost in translation.

How to overcome? — REMOVE and PRIORITISE

How to implement?

1. Start from Scratch

2. Reduce the Clicks/Taps

2. Reduce Choice

We all love choices, in fact, we are spoiled by the number of choices we have. The number of choices in a product may tend to affect user experience in a positive or negative manner. Balancing the choices the right way can allow them to make a sound decision and improve their satisfaction level.

In an application/product, we reduce the number of elements per screen to simplify the experience by following a set of rules.


A cluttered application can dissuade the user from proceeding further. Organising has three main phases to it.

1. Using Colour and Typography to communicate the hierarchy to the user.

The right way to reflect product branding is by using colour and typography to make it recognisable, attractive, and memorable.

2. Group Content

Simplify a complex page by grouping elements. At any point, users can deal with a small number of groups, rather than a lot of elements. These can be grouped based on similarity, continuity and connectivity.

3. Break huge tasks into smaller steps

This specifically applies to Form design — different kinds of forms are available in most products as this is the way to capture the user’s information.

In certain cases, even after pruning the elements, the forms can still be unwieldy — a major deterrent for the user. Breaking this form into a series of smaller subtasks would give the user a sense of achievement on completing each subtask.


A user’s journey through the application is to achieve goals. At every stage, elements and pages must be relevant to the progress and the goal(s). Find those key areas and draw the user’s attention to these.

As seen above, achieving simplicity is a complex process relying heavily on cognitive skills and has been relevant throughout history in design and communication.

Going into the future, with consistent decrease in attention span, user experience design will benefit a great deal from the Laws of Simplicity that guide communication and help solve visual problems.

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