Draft Episode 16: Complexity vs. Complicated

Draft Episode 16

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About this Episode

In a previous interview we did with Josh Clark (globalmoxie.com) he talked about the idea that people actually like, respect and will use things that are complex as long as we don’t make them complicated. It’s a fine line indeed, maybe we’re on to something here with this idea. What do you think?

About the Show

This is Draft, a show about the craft of designing for the web. Your hosts are Giovanni DiFeterici (@giodif) and Gene Crawford (@genecrawford) both from this little old website right here: UnmatchedStyle. Also, in this episode we are joined by another UMS editor Jay Barry (@petridisc).


Gene Crawford

With over a decade of experience in the industry he has overseen the design and architecture of hundreds of web sites and applications. An active member in the design community, he's the editor & producer of unmatchedstyle.com, the ConvergeSE, ConvergeFL, ConvergeRVA and the Breaking Development conference series.

  • UnmatchedStyle

    NIce example with TCP/IP and UDP Jason. Thanks for the linkup to the older article too.

  • Hyrum Denney

    Complicated as an English word describes something that has become complex. They come from the same root meaning which confuses the topic. I think the principle your going for is fine but this is not a good approach to describe the actual issue. The best way to describe this is Perceived Complexity vs. Actual Complexity. Something may be very complex but in the interface and associated interactions it can appear to the user to be less complicated that it really is. The keys is reducing actual and perceived complexity as much as possible without removing functionality (usefulness). This is critical to a great experience. Simplicity is the overarching component here and contains these five areas that need balanced: scanability, complexity, cognitive load, negative space, and usefulness.