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What’s simplicity to you?

As a product/project manager, I pride myself on striving for simplicity. Someone asked me just last week: “What’s simplicity to you?” and I found the best way to answer was to give some examples.

Simplicity from day to day life – the ‘old’ light switch

You flip it up, light turns on, you flip it down, light turns off. That’s simple. You don’t need to know anything about electricity at all; it just works. There are many other great examples in our day to day lives such as the TV or the telephone. Most people don’t know the ins-and-outs of how they work but most use them quite easily everyday.

A tech example of simplicity: setting up email on my Blackberry

I opened a Gmail account (very simple), purchased a Blackberry and I only needed to tell my BB what my user name and password was for my Gmail. And voilà! I get all my emails on my BB. I don’t need to know anything about email relay, email servers, etc etc. It just works.

Simplicity in a process – Kobo e-book ordering

Once I set up an account, buying a new book was just 3 clicks away: select the book, click ‘buy now’ and confirm by clicking ‘buy now’ again. I could immediately download the book and begin reading.

Processes are needed from time to time to get things done in a reliable fashion on a repeatable basis. A process is good when it makes our lives easier. As a product/project manager, whenever possible, I create processes that use the least amount of steps and that can be automated.

That’s simplicity to me. What’s simplicity to you?

Innovating By Re-Purposing What Already Exists

Product innovation is not always about inventing something completely new. Sometimes, all we need to do to innovate is build parallels. If a concept works well for an industry, it may also work well for another. There is always the possibility to re-purpose what already exists and is already successful in a market, then use the same principles in another similar […] Continue reading →