Whenever I’m working on a project or problem, I look for three things in any solution.  It must be:

                  Simple, Elegant, Effective

Actually, when I look at it, if it’s simple and elegant it’s usually effective.

Keeping it simple...

...is such an important factor in success.  We can get so caught up in how clever we are that we come up with all sorts of complicated ideas that are brilliant.  For us.  Because we’re experts in oiur chosen fields.  We understand all the clever little details and twists.

But what about the rest humnity?  The people who don't share our level of knowledge, insight and expertise?

OK, if it’s something really technical they don’t need to get involved in, it doesn’t matter.  But if they need to be able to work with it, it must be simple enough for everyone to understand.

A big issue...

...is change for change's sake.  Things start out great, but then version 2.0 kicks in, followed by 3.0, and gradually the original concept has been lost and we’re left with all sorts of bits and pieces added on that don’t really integrate.

But the worst offence of all is taking something that’s good and making it progressively worse, just to prove you’re doing something.

For example, Apple’s Mac OS has deteriorated significantly over the last few years, from what was extremely elegant, to a point where there are things that simply don’t really work any more.  Often the changes look good aesthetically, but are an absolute nightmare to use.  Why have they done away with cover-flow browsing in iTunes?  It was such an intuitive system.  Now we have to search for albums through a grid.  This isn’t the natural way we look for things, guys – if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it!!

OK.  Rant over :-)

Just remember to make things simple and easy for people.  

If you look for elegant simplicity in all you do, you won’t go far wrong.