"Rote Simplicity"

Frank Chimero:

I’m skeptical of rote simplicity. It’s good for the people making digital tools to simplify their job and make one tiny widget, but a swarm of tools that all do one tiny thing well is still a complex system for the user to manage.

Ben Brooks offered a few thoughts about this, too.

I love apps that do “one thing well”, but as Ben points out, it’d be a pain to have to open 45 apps to do 45 different tasks. But I also can’t imagine having 45 different tasks to do, let alone needing an app to complete each one.

Looking at my iPhone home screen, I feel I’ve pared my apps down to the essentials. While the iPhone is capable of performing thousands of different tasks, I choose to use mine only for those that are most important to me. In fact, I can say I mainly use my iPhone for reading, writing, and capturing, in addition to communication. I could use it for a ton of other things, but these are the most important. I think that’s why my iPhone only has two to three pages of apps.

For me, it comes down to simplifying my priorities rather than only using simple apps. Ten pages of “one thing well” apps is a complex setup. Rather, I say be judicious in determining what you actually need to be able to do, and then choose the apps that meet those needs most effectively.