Why product managers shouldn’t overrate simplicity

Edited excerpt from Simple just isn’t that important by David Heinemeier Hansson:

“Simple” is just one of the many qualities we can use to evaluate products, and it is by no means the most important. Simple is overrated!

Here are but a few qualities I’d take over simple: Useful. Clear. Fun. Satisfying. Inspiring. Endearing.

(1) Cf. Frictionless vs. minimalist product design.
(2) Cf. Minimum viable product vs minimum acceptable product.

5 thoughts on “Why product managers shouldn’t overrate simplicity

  1. Simple reminds me about products like http://sunrise.am or https://www.captaintrain.com/search/ that recently had some great exits…. mainly because their phenomenal functionality combined with impressive UX/UI.

    More importantly, I believe everyone who wants to understand the simplicity principles and understand what it really means beyond design should read the book ‘Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success’ by Ken Segall.

  2. Hansson’s confusing means and ends. Simplicity is a design heuristic; if we’re looking for product qualities, then “fitness for purpose” would trump everything. Also, note that Hansson doesn’t offer any reasons that simplicity is not a good design heuristic, except citing the example of Ruby, which others would say (see http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?WhyWeHateRuby) demonstrates the opposite.

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