Meta Refresh 2013

The design and engineering of user interface on the web

Anu Sharma


Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler

Submitted Jan 23, 2013

To have a discussion on what makes simplicity compelling


Simplicity is a good goal to have in UX. And it is often measurable in the traditional sense of ‘conversion rates’. But it remains nebulous at best, and counterproductive at worst.

Nebulous Simplicity
In spite of using multiple frameworks, we still often reinvent the wheel, wanting to begin with the fundamentals (think checkout flows, payment flows) in the hope of achieving simplicity, only to end up achieving a local maxima.

Counterproductive Simplicity
While doing this, we sacrifice clarity on our central product/objective and solve the wrong problems to get good enough at a bunch of things, but master of none.

Yet, the essential simplicity of Lego blocks, Raspberry Pis, YouTube videos and, now, Stripe widgets is strangely compelling. This talk is about what makes simplicity compelling and why it may be foolhardy to get any simpler.


A venue that encourages broader interaction would be great.

Speaker bio

I’ve worked on small and large websites as well as platforms, simple and complex. I’ve become more aware of user experience as I’ve become more aware of myself - of what I like and what I don’t. Some of this is simply “soft”, reflected in behavior and attitude. But a lot is “hard”, manifested by skill and hard work. Hope to share some of this learning, and learn from other practitioners as well.



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