the power of "no" in design.


i was talking to Jim (AddThis UX Director) and we were talking about our product and comparing it to other companies. We were talking about how simplicity means to sacrifice. sometimes the best thing to do for a company is say “no”.

look at the ipod shuffle above. in order to create a product like that, someone had to have said “no”.
“it should have buttons to control the songs…” no.
“it could have a smalls screen to help the user navigate…” no.
“it can have 8 gigs instead of 4 gigs…” no.

think of all the “no’s” that had to go into this product. but in order to have the power to say no, you have to a very focused team that understands the problem space, product, and audience.

Jim made an awesome point about how you can say “no”, but also have the power to say “yes”.
“it should have buttons to control the songs…” no buttons, but yes to controls—voice recognition.
“it could have a smalls screen to help the user navigate…” no screen, but yes to more battery life.
“it can have 8 gigs instead of 4 gigs…” no 8 gigs, but yes to cheaper price point.

i definitely feel we have alot of clarity in our product. there are things we can improve, but sometimes the most important role i can help this company with is to say no to some ideas, and say yes to others.

i’m hoping Jim writes a blog that goes into this further. it’s great to be surrounded by such great minds.