A response article by Scott Berkun:
In defense of simplicity
Recently two notable design advocates, Don Norman and Joel Spolsky, challenged the value of simplicity in design, and Iâ€™m here to offer a late defense.
Itâ€™s easy to confuse success with quality, and both articles discount our secret inability to make satisfying choices. We are attracted to things with more features, that cost less, or come in larger quantities, despite our inner suspicions that weâ€™re likely to complain about those purchases soon after. We date people, eat food, take jobs and buy products for superficial, misguided reasons all the time. Weâ€™re easily seduced, and every marketer knows we always have been and always will be.
But we shouldnâ€™t confuse the success of feature-laden crap as a signal for the irrelevance of simplicity any more than the success of Rocky IV and Burger King signaled the irrelevance of good film-making or fine dining. It just means there are gaps between what we need, what we want, and why we buy, and that the masses are by definition less discriminating than the niches of people with refined tastes for a particular thing.