Simplify, then add lightness

This fantastic phrase coined by the late great Colin Chapman inspires much of my thinking and approach to design projects.
To Simplify, then add lightness. So simple yet effective. Making the right choice with the minimum of options is tricky. Engineering the lightest most efficient solution takes skill. It’s years of experience that gives us and the confidence to successfully employ this strategy. To fine tune what works best, you need instinct feel and experience. It’s a process of streamlining and selecting from the massive range of ingredients and options we now have access to. After all it’s far easier to add than take away.

Perhaps the easiest thing one can do to ensure lightness and simplicity when working on a design project is to constantly ask,


Why are we adding this?

Why are we taking this away?

Why would users care?

Why would people share this?

Why will people do this?

Why can they do this?

Why will they still do this?

After all... the question is half the answer.