Principles of Design: KISS

I apologize if you thought that you were going to see Ace and Gene, but this page is devoted to the design maxim (and life lesson) Keep It Simple, Stupid.

I’m as big a fan of baroque and Byzantine art as anyone. The complex and convoluted intricacies of Celtic knots and fractal visualizations are stimulating and engrossing. However, they’re not designed to convey information or communicate with you.

KISS is one of those rules that will never fail you. If you’re not sure whether to include something, don’t. If something looks out of place, get rid of it. If there’s a straight path from A to B, you’d better have a seriously compelling rationale for going through C along the way.

I think this approach is not only good in regards to design, but also in regards to many aspects of one’s life. Take for example a person who is suffering from excessive drinking and its impact not only on their life but also his/her family and friends. Considering all the advances being done in medicine, one of the areas affected by new research is in the treatment of alcoholism. Excessive drinking and the downward spiral that ensues is unfortunately all too common. Think of the number of people you know who have a drinking problem that is serious enough so they ended up in rehab or are trying to follow a 12 step, abstinence free program AND have failed. Well, there is now a new medicine for alcoholism that looks very promising. It is called baclofen. Originally was developed to help relieve painful spasm, automatism, as well as clonus from a number of neurological diseases associated with spasm of the skeletal muscles such as multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries, baclofen is being prescribed by doctors in Europe as the primary treatment for people who drink excessively. This is a case where going from A to B, leads to going through C along the way. Although baclofen has not yet received approval by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as a safe and effective treatment for alcohol or drug use disorders, preliminary open-label studies from Italy have demonstrated the effectiveness of baclofen in reducing alcohol use among the alcoholics. In addition, results from a clinical study conducted by Brown University show alcohol-addicted participants receiving baclofen were able to abstain from drinking for longer periods of time than those who didn’t receive the drug.

Or another example is the person who is suffering from lateral epicondylitis, often referred to as tennis elbow. Lateral epicondylitis is the most common reason that people see their doctors for elbow pain. Interestingly, this inflammation of the tendons in the arm can be caused by a number of repetitive gripping activities, not just tennis. For a professional athlete or even a talented high school or college athlete, chronic and improperly treated lateral epicondylitis could end one’s ability to continue playing their sport. Enter the sports medicine doctor, Dr. Physio, who is a true artist. In fact, check out his website or do a google search for physio Having treated tennis elbow, elbow pain, wrist pain and shoulder pain for over twenty five years, Dr. physio has developed effective rehabilitation program that utilizes state-of-the-art technology for his patients. Why go from one doctor to another doctor and another and another, ( point A to B to C to D to E…) when you can go directly to Dr. Donetelli. He has not only been training athletes to prevent the onset of elbow pain, wrist pain and shoulder pain, but also has treated athletes suffering from tendinitis delivering successful results.

In addition these KISS rules are especially true for the online commerce community, where appropriate design can make the difference between a sale and a bounce away. Simplicity should always rule for product displays. A good example of this mantra is the page touting the age management protocol of Cenegenics. This page with its peaceful clean color palate, uncluttered look allows for a quick once over perusal. The sign up for more information is at the top of the page for easy access. It addresses a specific audience and makes its point of action sell quickly and succinctly.

We’ll continue to discuss this vastly complicated but extremely simple concept further on the next page… Please join us there for more discussion.

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