Why is Simple So Hard?

Last Update: August 19, 2014

Believe it or not, I have been stuck with this question myself. All I know is that, simple is hard. Hence, I googled some articles on this phrase. I gathered a few articles to read. I was rather pleased, not really surprised, at how this question or phrase has been blogged about by different people from different fields. Here are just a few of the similar question:

1. Why is Simple So Hard - http://www.ducttapemarketing.com

2. Why is so Simple So Hard? - http://kathymurphyphd.com/2011/09/why-is-something-so-simple-so-hard/

3. Why is Simple Design so Hard? - http://venturebeat.com/2009/08/17/why-is-simple-design-so-hard/

When I reached the above sites, I said to myself .'Hmmm… there are actually people who wrote articles on 'why is simple hard?'

So why is simple so damn hard? I have gathered from these people, there are reasons that stood out for me.

1. 'We feel the need to make things sound more important than they are, to demonstrate in verbose ways how much in fact, we know something that others don't.'

---John Jantsch, Duct Tape Marketing

2. 'In today's world where so much is coming at us all the time. We start to react. And this world can be a scary place. Things happen that are out of our control. Or we can get overwhelmed and feel defeated. ----- Dr. Kathy Murphy

3. 'Complex design is far easier and takes much less planning than simple designs. It encompasses what user might want to do, rather than understand exactly what your user needs. Simplicity, it seems, requires more thought, planning, research and vision.'

------ Scott Olson, VB Venture

When I started creating my website, I spent so much time in choosing the most attractive theme, thinking that this would help in my ranking. I was wrong. My theme may have impressed some readers, but all they see was my attractive theme, not really what's in my website. In short I was like making an elaborate cake, with too much icing, and not much cake inside.

Today, I am happy with my Isola theme. It's just my content with all white background, nothing else. No more colorful image heading. I know people are actually reading my posts. My rank has improved, and it's a good result.

I'm not saying that headings with colorful images, or rich words are wrong. My point is,we will achieve more if we focus more on what we are actually writing, rather than the aesthetics side of our sites, or our verbosity (use of excessive, unnecessary words).

Simple is hard, yes. It takes effort, time and hard work, in order to make our life the way we want it. - simple, balanced and organized. The same way we work on our own websites - simple, no frills, but effective. In short, after searching for what's best, simplicity is what we've been wanting all along.

Leonardo da Vinci has left us with a good quote, which made me understand why simple is hard to reach.

'Simplicity as a result of creative process, is the ultimate sophistication.'



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RussStewart Premium
Excellent post Jen.

Keeping things simple is a constant journey for me. I used to dwell too much on trying to create a visual presence rather than an information presence.

It's all a learning process and your post hits home on this subject.

Well done Jen
Jen090 Premium
Thanks Russ, I was thinking of a topic that not everyone doesn't know it's affecting their work and life as a whole.
AlanCross Premium
I like it simple is hard!
ChristinaR01 Premium
Jen, you could not be more right! Thank you for this.
Jen090 Premium
Thanks Shiloh, hope to see you in you next blog.
mackiejw Premium
By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
sayeth the Lord

and ever since Eve.............and you know the rest.

Nothing comes easy anymore :-)
Jen090 Premium
Hi John, yes, your right, and I like how you use the words from the Bible.
cubandane Premium
Wow Jen, you could have written that for me it fits so well. I am now on my third theme but have thankfully reversed my trend of "look and feel" comes first. If you hang around long enough you might get to see it!! Building a website I was told, was so simple. It's been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It's the visual artistic side in me that made it difficult for me.
Jen090 Premium
Hi Simon, yes, it's usually the aesthetics that we tend to look at more than anything else. Then at the end we get exhausted thinking, why on earth did we spend so much time on what's less important? Thanks for dropping by.