Despite everybody telling us that we are living in an increasingly complex world, there is a growing demand for simplicity. Doing simple, however, is much more complex than you think. The continuous addition of features inevitably adds complexity to a product or service. Although customers may be happy in the short-term, there comes a tipping point whereby customers are no longer willing to pay a premium for additional features. Disruptive technologies are often distinguishable by their simplicity. In fact, many disruptive products and services (low-end disruptions) often lack the features and functionality of the market leaders. Such products and services often outperform and eventually replace the market leaders by reducing the inherent cognitive overhead in using a product or service.
In their new book "Simple: Conquering the Crisis of Complexity", Alan Siegel and Irene Etzkorn demonstrate how successful companies can reduce the gap between business and customer through empathy and simplicity. For customers simplicity now represents a luxury (e.g Glenilen, Moleskine), whilst for businesses simplicity represents a great source of competitive advantage (e.g. Nespresso, Apple, Twitter, Dollar Shave Club). The book has some great examples of companies that have have leveraged simplicity in both product design and service delivery whilst also illustrating some notable failures. The book is not the first book to extol the virtues of simplicity (see for example Simplicity: The New Competitive Advantage) but it's a worthwhile addition to anybody with an interest in user-centered design and service delivery.
Fast Company Design has an extract of the book available HERE.