The K.I.S.S. design principle stands for « Keep It Stupid Simple » or « Keep It Simply Stupid ». It originated from the US Navy in the 1960s when the Navy was facing a problem with overly complicated systems and processes that were costing time, money, and lives. The solution was to simplify things as much as possible. It’s about stripping away anything that doesn’t add value or serve a clear purpose.
The K.I.S.S. principle is essential in software development, particularly when designing user interfaces (UI). A good UI design should be intuitive and easy to use, even for users who are not familiar with the software. This can be achieved by using a simple and consistent design language, minimizing clutter, and prioritizing essential features over secondary ones.
In product design, the K.I.S.S. principle can be applied to everything from the packaging to the product itself. For example, a product with simple and clear instructions is likely to be more user-friendly than one with complicated instructions. Similarly, a product that is easy to assemble or disassemble is more likely to be preferred by consumers over one with many complex parts.
Apple is known for its simple and clean designs that prioritize functionality and user experience. The company’s products are often characterized by their minimalist aesthetic and intuitive interfaces, which make them easy to use for both tech-savvy and non-technical users. Similarly, Google’s search engine design is straightforward and streamlined, with a simple search bar and a few buttons for filtering results. This minimalist design approach allows users to focus on the task at hand – finding information – without getting distracted by unnecessary elements or features.
Why is simplicity important in Design ?
For one, it makes products and systems easier to understand and use. When things are complicated, users are more likely to get frustrated and make mistakes. Additionally, simple designs tend to be more aesthetically pleasing and timeless. They don’t rely on gimmicks or trends that will inevitably become outdated.
K.I.S.S. is a powerful tool for designers. By prioritizing simplicity and clarity, designers can create products and systems that are more effective, efficient, and user-friendly. By focusing on what’s essential and removing anything that doesn’t add value or serve a clear purpose, designers can create designs that are clear, concise, and timeless, ultimately leading to a better user experience and higher customer satisfaction.