04 April 2011
Simplicity makes your message stronger
In October 2008, Apple introduced its next-generation MacBook laptop computer. At the launch, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs invited design guru Jonathan Ive onstage to explain how they made a notebook that was significantly lighter and sturdier. Ive told the audience that Apple’s new design eliminated two-thirds of the computer’s major structural parts. He said reducing the number of parts naturally made the computer thinner; but contrary to what you’d expect, eliminating parts also made it more rigid and robust — the computer was stronger. That’s an analogy for writing. Eliminate unnecessary words, and your message will be stronger. According to Ive, ‘We are absolutely consumed by trying to develop a solution that is very simple, because as physical beings we understand clarity.’ This anecdote is from a webinar by Carmine Gallo, a columnist for Bloomberg Businessweek . She wrote The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs. She says, ‘Your customers demand simplicity, and simplicity requires that you eliminate anything that clutters the user experience — whether in product design, website navigation, marketing and advertising materials, or presentation slides. Say ‘no’ more often than ‘yes.’’ That counts for words, too.