Celebrating Minimalism in the days of Technology Clutter

In an age of instant communication, one would be forgiven for getting a tinge nostalgic just remembering the way things were done a few years ago. "What are you doing" earlier evoked hours of catching up with your high school friend on a variety of subjects, but these days a 140 character tweet would do, why wouldn’t it – its ‘Cool’ after all. A status update on Facebook where you announce your acquisition of a Levi jean gets you 15 likes and 10 comments – its ‘Cool’, congratulations again. Then comes the latest location wars which not just wants to know what are you doing, but, where so too.

Platforms like these have transformed information delivery and demolished many a barriers. And it is only prudent that one goes with the times. Having said that, it also calls for caution!

As the age of instant communication offers almost a ring-side view of the world fitted in your 17inch TFT monitor (or its mobile equivalent), we run the risk of data deluge, almost a glutton. There is a cap to what the mind can process, and when we expose ourselves to those limitless RSS feeds, Tweets, Facebook videos etc, one wonders, in our bid to be up-to-date with the lives of others, are we doing our own lives any favour? Why would a quite walk across the street or a hot cappuccino during rainy season or staring at the ceiling fan just before going to bed, allows us to be more introspective than hours of watching inspirational videos on You Tube?

Minimalistic User Design Make no mistake technology has been the great enabler in our lives, but fortunately, is not its ultimate decider. We make the choices, and with ever increasing number of platforms and apps trying to grab our attention, minimalism going forward, would be a key cornerstone of the choices we make – The message for companies being: ‘Less is in’. It may not be a priority as of now, but it will be a few years down the line.

More so because as consumers we have always enjoyed simplicity whether consciously or subconsciously, anything chaotic turns us off; when was the last time you ever read the manual that came along with the digital camera you bought? The reason why Apple thrives is because it combines great features in utterly simplistic fashion, making it appealing for the users. Google’s home page is another example. Thus with an ever decreasing attention-span of the virtual surfer it would be wise for startups in the digital space to focus on just the essential and strip down on everything else before the humble surfer clicks away.

What’s your opinion?

[Guest article by Dinesh Lodha – he has a keen interest in the social/technology space. Img credit: pjen]