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Simple is hard

Making things simple isn’t as easy at it seems. Apple’s iPhone is often regarded as being a more simple alternative to Android, while maintaining many of the same features. Android typically is more powerful and has additional features, but Apple looks carefully at each new feature and spends a few years fine-tuning it to make it as intuitive as possible. You can find many sites that will list the features that Apple “stole” from Android, but in almost every case Apple did a better job of adding that feature. That’s why a company that only makes a handful of products needs to have nearly 100,000 employees — simple is hard.


Another great example came via the comic strip xkcd recently:


If you click through to the Google homepage and view the source code, as xkcd suggests — wow! If you understand HTML at all, you’ll quickly realize how insane the code is on that page. The front of is one of the cleanest pages on the internet, but the code behind it is mind-numbingly complex. Simple is hard.


Amazon is another great example of this. They make shopping on their site amazingly simple, from start to finish. All of info is saved automatically, and you can purchase anything you want and have it on your doorstep in a few days (or even a few hours). However, the technology and infrastructure to make that happen is amazing complex. Simple is hard.

Martin Luther

German theologian Martin Luther has had the following attributed to him:

“If I had my time to go over again, I would make my sermons much shorter, for I am conscious they have been too wordy.”

It’s easy to just talk for hours on end; it’s much more difficult to hone a concise and powerful message. Simple is hard.

Custom design

This is why custom-designed websites can seem confusing to some. Our web design process takes, on average, around three months to complete. Looking at the final product you may think that it looks similar to a well-designed template, and you may be right, but the details make the difference. Understanding exactly what an audience needs to see takes time to uncover, lay out, test, design and build.

Further, writing concise code for a site can take a good deal of time. One of the best-selling WordPress themes of all time is named “Avada”, and it can do almost everything. Avada makes it fairly easy to build a site that looks any way you want it. The problem is that resulting code is a mess because that theme needs to do so many different things for different people, and as a result sites built with Avada tend to be slow loading and difficult to maintain. Properly building a site from the ground up to fit your needs takes much more time, but yields a website that will load much more quickly, be more stable on a variety of devices, and do a better job of achieving the goals set out for the site.

Simple is hard.

About the Author

Mickey Mellen

Co-Founder and Technical Director

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