These days I learnt that there’s no such thing as too simple. After years of design work, this is a relieve. I’ve told clients that simple is the way to go, but they always asked for more beautiful complex things.
It all started with me finding about Insanely Simple book of Ken Segall. Even if I only read the first chapter, it changed everything for me. I got the idea. The idea was insanely simple. In two days I rethought, not redesigned, both my website and this web service where I’m actually writing on. It’s simply amazing.
But, there’s always a but. Simplicity can be dangerous for text based interfaces. You just can’t splash some text on a site and think you’ve done something wonderful. That’s why we have this thing called typography. There’s a insanely simple book for this too. Matthew Butterick’s Practical Typography is the body, the head and the legs for those who want to design typographic rich interfaces. Again, I got the idea by reading typography in the ten minutes introduction that Butterick wrote. I took the whole night, skipped things I already knew and finished the book.
The benefits are enormous. I’m more focused on things that actually matter, like focusing on heading text rather than the style of the header. I’ve changed my mind about line height, it can’t be higher than 3/2. It should be slightly lower to keep the readers eyes on the text. Information density increased greatly for both Markdawn and my website. They’re now more suitable for small screen devices. That’s a huge win. It’s the best Christmas gift I could have for myself by myself.
If you find this text boring, there’s a blog I recommend where you can enjoy simple aesthetics. Then, maybe, you’ll want to come back to read the books and leave a remark.