Monday, 14 January 2008

The Creation of Omission

CBC radio had an interview with a Jazz writer who was talking about the genius of the late Oscar Peterson. One comment that struck me was his reference to Oscar's ability to know when NOT to play and rather defer to the talents of others. It was this notion of his genius of omission that reminded me how important that is as well, for the creation of brilliant digital experiences.

It might be a fundamental principle of design to know when not to put to many elements on a page however, it remains one of the biggest struggles in the interactive space. By wanting to ensure we satisfy a myriad of business objectives and meet a host of customer needs, we end up cramming features and repeat navigation elements - often to the detriment of the overall user experience.

In an age where there is often too much information and too much choice, simplicity and focus can become a competitive advantage.

Apple has done this brilliantly and on the Web, Google was one of the first companies to take this approach in the search space and look how that turned out. Truth be told, if they had taken a traditional business approach to looking at their competition (Excite, Go, Yahoo) they might have felt compelled to create a crazy directory page.

The creation of omission - a great reminder - thanks again Oscar....


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