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Simplicity: The Next Competitive Battleground

Simplicity: The Next Competitive Battleground

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Published by Modus Associates
Consumers crave it. The successful brands have it. You probably need more of it. We're talking about simplicity in your online customer experiences.
Consumers crave it. The successful brands have it. You probably need more of it. We're talking about simplicity in your online customer experiences.

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Published by: Modus Associates on Jun 05, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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© Modus Associates, LLCwww.modusassociates.com
Simplicity: The Next CompetitiveBattleground
Consumers crave it. The most successful brands have it. You probably needmore of it. We’re talking about simplicity in your online customer experiences.Always a virtue, simplicity is fast becoming a necessity in our increasinglymobile, multi-screen and distracted world. Let’s take a look at the numbers:
Tablet PCs will outsell desktop PCs next year and laptop PCs by 2016
[Source: Microsoft and DisplaySearch]
Mobile internet usage is projected to overtake desktop internet usage in2013 [Source: Gartner]71% of mobile browsers expect web pages to load almost as quickly orfaster than web pages on their desktop computers [Source: Gomez]90% of all US media consumption now takes place across a combination of phone, tablet, computer and TVscreens [Source: Google]
Dead or simple
The business value of simplicity has long been understood. Fewer choices, shorter paths and simplermessaging lead to higher conversion rates in study after study. Examples of simplicity’s triumph are all around
us: mint.com in personal nance; Apple in electronics; Google in search. Yet simplicity has remained an elusiveideal for most organizations.
Now the rise of mobile is forcing our hands and changing the way we design websites and software forever.Mobile and desktop design standards are converging toward a more streamlined aesthetic. HTML and apps are
becoming indistinguishable. In late 2012 USA Today pushed the envelope with a new website that looks and actslike an iPad app.
Simplicity has becomethe new competitivebattleground as wetransition to a moremobile, multi-screenand distracted world.”
© Modus Associates, LLCwww.modusassociates.com
4 ways to a simpler you
If your organization is struggling to achieve simplicity, here are some simple techniques that can help you cut
through the clutter: 
Start with your site trac.
A look at your site trac is probably the best and fastest way to understand what your customers most value
and what they can do without. Which of your content and features are getting the most attention? Which are
being ignored? What are the top user paths? Which content is searched for the most? You’ll likely nd that the80/20 rule – where a small sub-section of your content sees the majority of activity – applies.
Try mobile frst.
The emerging practice of “mobile rst,” whereby companies organize their business around mobile as theprimary channel, is gaining in prominence (Google declared itself a mobile-rst company in 2010). Whateveryou think of mobile-rst as a business practice, trying it out as an experiment can help you boil down youroerings to their most bare and useful essence.
Get more objective.
Designers, developers and even executives can frequently get too close to their online initiatives. Install a
decision-maker who knows your business and customers well, but isn’t involved in the day-to-day of design and
development. That person will have the objectivity to ask hard questions and – where necessary – slaughter the
sacred cows.
Test, test and test.
There’s nothing like the feedback of real users to break your internal logjams and provide clarity about
what’s valuable to them. If budget or timeline are concerns, testing informally with friends and family canstill produce valuable insights. And it’s better than no testing at all.
It’s time to get ruthless
Ruthlessly simple, that is. We’re moving quickly from a world where we stued in all the features we could, to onewhere we must strip away everything we can. The future belongs to the brands that can specialize, synthesize and
consolidate for a faster-moving and more distracted audience. Only the most disciplined will prevail.#

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