‘Simple’ by definition
I was having a glass of wine with my friend, Carolyn, the other night, and we were discussing each other’s work. I said that I’m enjoying creating simple websites. Being an animated person, Carolyn’s face was nothing short of hearing fingernails on a chalk board. ‘Not simple‘, she said. And she immediately looked up the word in her thesaurus app. ‘Clean, uncomplicated, piece of cake’, were several of the more appealing suggestions. Her point: simple can also mean ‘unstudied, vanilla, bare…’, hardly words I would want used to describe my projects!
Just the other day, our college-age daughter needed some money in her account to cover her rent. Usually, I would grumble and drive to her bank and deposit cash. Now, my bank allows me to “send” money to her phone. She receives a text and follows the instructions to direct this electronic deposit into her checking account. This is ‘good simple’.
Email and cloud-based computing mean it isn’t always necessary to send a physical package. It used to be you’d have to set up a meeting with the client every time you wanted to show them something. Now you can create a pdf and send it in an email. Or you share a link to the cloud. I always try to get face-to-face with my clients to nurture the relationship, or to help a project along, but it is wonderful when you can get some quick feedback on an edit. (Clients like it, too.)
All of it this is great. But I’m afraid, from a creative standpoint, expecting things quickly is getting in the way of doing things right.
What people think they need isn’t always what they really need.
I’ve had a few companies say, ‘all we need is a simple website’. What they mean is they need a clean, uncomplicated website, and even with these clean, uncomplicated sites, we also need to brainstorm all the possible functions early, before we start building.
Taking time to step way back and think through a project is important:
– what inspired this project?
– what do you need it to do?
– who will make updates, contribute content?
Take the time to do things right.
Computers have made many parts of our work faster, but the heart and soul of any project depends on investing time early to think things through. Piece of cake, right? All kidding aside, we could all benefit from just slowing things down and doing them right.