Myth #34: Simple = minimal

Written by UX Myths / Original link on Apr. 7, 2015

Simplicity is key to great and innovative product design. But simplicity (reduction of complexity) is way often confused with minimalist style (reduction of elements). In fact, simple looking, minimal product UIs often carry hidden complexity.

Design decisions aiming for reduction can easily introduce more friction and cognitive load, leading to a more complex user experience. Icons without text labels are difficult to understand, non-standard gestures provide no obvious affordance, the minimalist hamburger menu was proven many times to perform poorly.

We should all strive for simplicity, but we must make sure not to oversimplify for the sake of minimalism. As Albert Einstein put it, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

Minimalist style doesn’t always lead to product simplicity

Minimalist UIs that led to complex UX

Zoltan Gocza

ux-myths simplicity minimalism misconception myth ircmaxell ux uxmyths

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