Three little birds: Simple, Clear and Intuitive - Part 1

Simple. Clear. Intuitive. Three little words that help my approach to the quality of my work, processes, deliverables, communications and just about all aspects of my life.

Fraser Powell
Fraser Powell Head of QA

Have you ever given up because a website was just too complicated (or at least become very angry!)? Missed a deadline because the software hid the functions you needed so deeply you required breathing apparatus?! Or simply been presented with an interface that belongs in an alien spacecraft? Simple things don’t just please simple minds, they please us all!

From testing software to leaving instructions for feeding the cat, with these three little words you don’t need to worry, ‘cause every little thing gonna be alright! Simplicity is key to designing, building and delivering software. Here are my tips for keeping it simple, whatever you are doing:

1. “Keep it simple, stupid.”
Remember to keep it simple and you may just find a way forward. Just reminding yourself to do so can help you to put things into perspective and find a solution.

2. Break it down
Boil your problem down to its simplest form, go back to the basics, look at the fundamental elements and work your way back up. You may find you’re smarter than you thought!

3. Be like Spock
By all means, add some spice, but always remember the most fundamental objectives and the most logical way to achieve them.

4. Draw a picture
We are visual animals and sometimes you just need to get it out of your head and down on paper before you understand what you were thinking. Try it!

5. Get all the angles
Talk to someone. Talk to lots of people. Show everyone if you can. Sometimes the simplest way to understand whether something is ‘right’ is to demonstrate it to someone else.

6. One step at a time
You can’t do everything at once. Once you’ve broken everything down, tackle each issue head-on and complete it before you move on.

7. Use it!
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes (this could be the user, client, developer, tester, manager etc.) and see if it does what they need it to do.

8. Plan ahead
Having a reference point and a plan can help you manage time and effort, track ideas and progress and just generally act as a big comfy pillow you can fall back on.

9. Clear (See Part 2 – coming soon!)
Make it clear. Clarity and simplicity go hand-in-hand and make all our lives easier! Be direct, always ask if it’s open to misinterpretation and avoid anything unnecessary.

10. Intuitive (The helter-skelter principle – See part 3 – coming soon!)
You shouldn’t need to think about it, you should just be able to click and go on a predictable, comfortable journey through the software. Make it like a helter-skelter…weeeeeeeeeee!

Fraser Powell
Fraser Powell
Head of QA

We think you'll also enjoy

Introducing the Ghyston Foundation

We are refreshing and refocussing our mission so we can make a bigger positive impact. 
Learn more

Our investigation into the LastPass Security Incident

Here is our response to the recent news of a security incident at LastPass and our recommendations of pre-emptive actions to keep your data safe.
Learn more

Why investing in innovation during 2023 will set you up to thrive post-recession

How can you set your business up to weather the recession, and to be in a position to thrive when the country returns to growth? This blog looks at why 2023 needs to be the year of business and technology housekeeping
Learn more

Subscribe to our newsletter

The latest news and industry insights, straight to your inbox