Design Blog

Thoughts & Musings

"Simple is surprisingly complicated to get right."

  Soleio Cuervo  ,   Tim Van Damme  , and   Gentry Underwood . Image from 

Soleio CuervoTim Van Damme, and Gentry Underwood. Image from 

I discovered Fast Company's lists of 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2014 and 2015 for the first time today. (Thanks FC, these are great!) 

A couple quotes I picked out from the Q&A with the Dropbox design team that I wanted to share:

Simple is surprisingly complicated to get right.

A lot of great design disappears -- you don't notice it because whatever it enables seem obvious and just works. But getting to that place, where everyone says "of course", usually takes lots and lots of iterations.

- Gentry Underwood

This reminds me of the awesome podcast 99% Invisible, " a tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world." Good design is very much about what is NOT there as it is about what IS there.

This also reminds me of a moment when Alfred Lui, who came into GA as part of an 'ask a hiring manager' panel, said that he considers a product/service done "when there is nothing else to take away". That was both surprising and educational to hear, and I expect that I'll understand what he meant much more fully as I continue to grow as a designer.

Good design process lowers the cost of failure. It helps you make mistakes more quickly, learn from them, and improve. - Gentry Underwood

I think part of what it means to be a UX designer is to facilitate conversation about design, and explain/show why our work is valuable and lowers costs. There are still products/services created for their own sake, but it is technology that was designed to provide a good user experience that has longevity.