Well, all of you might know what a KISS is? Most of you might know how to KISS. Nonetheless I am not talking about that particular KISS but the KISS principle.
If you are into software/system design and development, you might have heard of this. If you are a user interface designer then surely you might have heard of this.
I came across this term when my director always emphasizes the local R&D team that as application developers and R&D engineers we need to follow the ‘KISS’ principle. The principle of keeping the applications simple and stupid so that the end user (say non IT people) find it very easy to use. So, I came to know the term, “Keep It Simple & Stupid”.
If we search more on so-called KISS principle, the history goes back to 1960. So according to Wikipedia, this was a design principle brought by the U.S Navy in-order to make sure their systems and applications are simple to use.
Why this principle is important? It is important because we need to keep things simple in life. When things are complicated naturally you become reluctant to move forward. I guess the word stupid gives the essence of attraction. Attraction does not mean the beauty but the desire to deal with it. That is what I have experienced. Hence, this principle is very useful and important in our daily life. If you have complicated relationships, complicated desires, complicated engagements then your life is really a mess.
As professionals in the IT industry it is very important that we design systems and applications in a way the end user likes to use. The usability should be simple and stupid (again I say the word stupid does not imply the stupidity but the attraction). User interfaces and user experience in a software based application is very important and it is the pivotal aspect of the entire product. If it is complicated to the user then your product is a failure.
Simple things first
In life, we come across situations where things get tougher. Does not matter whether it is about your education, relationships, marriage profession or anything else but when the things get tougher you need to breakdown the situations into simple puzzles so that the you can solve the simple puzzles first and the unknowingly the overall harder puzzle will be solved.
When you plan things in your life, you need to adhere to this principle. There is a famous saying, ‘Simple things first’; you can think of that as well. When you do simple things first then unknowingly you have done the hardest parts. The worrying factor is the modern generation seems to think only about the achievement not about the way to the certain achievement.
If you need to get a degree with class honours then you should do your simple things first. You need to study the relevant course materials, you need to do the relevant course work, you need to submit the assignments on time, you need to do the projects and submit the reports and finally you need to do your learning well and sit well for the exams. Without doing those basics things you can’t earn a degree with class honors. So, moral should be to think of simple things, keep them simple and don’t over think of the final target but do things right on your way to the target.
In software applications, if you have a simple design which can do the job, then your coding and implementation will be easy. And more importantly the customers will love your product. Hence let us KISS!
(The writer is the General Manager, Seebo Networks Lanka (Pvt) Ltd)