Why making things simpler makes a lot of sense

by Ashvini Kumar Saxena on January 28, 2011 · 9 comments

in My Personal Thoughts

An idea has been catching on mostly in minds of software developers. This idea is about, “How to make software that is simple and small”.
We are all used to huge software. One of the example of a huge software is your office application that you use at your desktop. Its has so many menu and options that sometimes it is difficult to find where to get the right information.
So why would someone not want the product to be simple and elegant. It is the customer and sales department of software companies. These days the competition between various software vendors is boiling down to two points( unfortunately), price and features. You guessed it right if you say that price should be lowest and features should be highest.

Take a look at your desktop software. How much % of the total features that are provided in the software that you actually use. Hardly more than 20-30%. But definitely the software developer has put enormous amount of effort in actually creating resources that you hardly use. Not that you would mind additional features but most of the time they remain unused.

There are large disadvantages when a customer starts comparing a software with another feature by feature. He probably is comparing those features too which his company’s employees will never use. Infact he is increasing cost of software for his company because more features bring additional complexity to software development, increases user training difficulties and later when customer decides to upgrade a complex systems, the cost is extremely high.

In this very popular website, the concept of developing a software with very few features is explained very clearly.

I think there needs to be a movement where software is broken up into components where people who don’t want certain features should be exempted from the costs that have been incurred while developing these features.

Customers also need to understand that purchasing software that feature rich is not always the best choice. Changing this attitude will also allow other vendors into the procurement process thereby getting more choices for purchase.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

lawmacs January 31, 2011 at 3:29 am

There are lots of unused features that are not used surely but it depends on the user some people might differ from you because some application software do needs a few more features

Reply

Ashvini Kumar Saxena January 31, 2011 at 11:29 am

Hey Gary,

Thanks for the comments. I agree with you that features are essential. But sometimes we do pay a lot for features that will never use. Staggered feature list is right way to go.

Best regards,
Ashvini

Reply

Bishwajeet @Comptalks January 30, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Sometimes its quite tough to handle complex stuff, so its better that we handle it in a simpler way .

Reply

Ashvini Kumar Saxena January 31, 2011 at 11:31 am

Yes Bishwajeet, rightly said.

Reply

Aswani January 30, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Ashvini, great read. I couldn’t have agreed more. Simplicity is a must…no doubt. We are also facing the same problem with one of our web based software. People require lots of features at the minimum cost and I believe it is very common here in India. You really don’t get what you expect in the end…a harsh reality!

Reply

Ashvini Kumar Saxena January 30, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Hey buddy,

Thanks for nice comment. The thing that you have said reflects true mindset of customers who want to get more and more without worrying about whether software works at all. Practical thing that you have faced in real life makes it more true.

Thanks

Reply

Nicola Deiana January 29, 2011 at 10:41 pm

I agree Ashvini, I applied this concept to my blog too. My web pages convert well If I keep them clear and simple. As potential customers get irritated when buy a software with thousand of features, they can get the same when visit my web pages full of banners. Creating an clear and easily-navigable web site always win ;)

Reply

Ashvini Kumar Saxena January 29, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Nicola, I like your website. It is clean and provides a lot of information. Thanks for your comments

Reply

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