By Daniel V. Licht (@thedvl)
I have recently put together a total of 1429 Lego pieces into 5 different models.
‘Cause I’m a dad and thats what we do. But it’s also because, no matter what, I still love Lego.
Maybe it’s the designer in me. Or maybe the creative director obsessed with the experience of things, but there is something so simple and fulfilling about following instructions and building something really cool. The idea of taking simple benign blocks and making some thing cool, recognizable and even useful is amazing.
Building with Legos is a satisfying feat. It starts with the compartmentalization of the pieces, each step in it’s own bag.
All the steps make sense, ’cause they use numbers and pictures. You know how hard it is to find one of those little chits in a pile of 500 pieces … impossible! There is a method to the madness, but also a great sense of accomplishment. When you are done and can marvel at a fortress or an intergalactic space station you know its been worth it.
As I’ve posted in the past, real life UX is something of an obsession of mine. While I’m slaving away for a 5 year old to build the ice dragon, I cannot help but marvel at how easy it has been. How well my path has been laid before me.
So should our digital experiences.
If there are instructions you want me to follow, make them simple. Numbers and pictures are universally understood. My son, who at 5 can count and is learning to write, can follow these instructions – though it cannot account for attention span. This is what’s great … what we can learn from Lego. They have made the complex, simple.
Here are some great examples of tools that take complex features or applications and simplify them down to the basics:
Evernote – Great note tool. I use it everyday. But if you are unfamiliar their site easily conveys what it does & how it works with 3 simple graphics.
Launchlist – Simple tool for web developers to make sure their sites are good to go. Simple to use and understand, practically no brains needed (except, of course, to develop the site!).
Team Excellence – Employee & relationship management company that gets right to their point. By using bright colors and simple numbers they show you how they can help.
What have you done to simplify the complex for your users?