The art of simplicity is making its mark as minimalist design principles are being seen in product design, web and even writing.
Social networks such as Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram have shown us that the skill of keeping it simple can be a key to success. Apple’s product design genius is not in how many buttons you can cram onto a device but is solved by the question “can I do it with just one button?”
Less is more.
Keeping it simple takes time and effort. Stripping something back to its essence requires thought and effort. It means wrangling, wrestling and removing unnecessary words.
There is a quote that is attributed to Blaise Pascal and also Mark Twain that I have never forgotten.
“I would have written a shorter letter but I didn’t have the time”
I remember attending grammar classes and struggled with the rules and regulations. To overcome my resistance I resorted to writing in a conversational style.
Grammar is complex. Conversation is simple. Write as you speak and that simple power will work its magic
What does the power of simple writing mean?
So what does “keeping it simple” mean for writing and content as a blogger and online publisher.
1. Simple words
Words do not need to be 3 or 4 syllables. In fact a single syllable word can be much more powerful in its impact
2. Simple stories
Want to get a point across? Use a simple story. It will be far more memorable than a complex paragraph as it will tap into the power of emotions and memory.
3. Simple structure
Keep the writing structure simple with bullet points and sub-titles and your key elements will stand out. People will thank you for that.
4. Simple in length
Keep your sentences short and don’t use more than 3 or 4 together. Writing for the web means designing it for skimming and scanning
5. Simple headline
Simple powerful headlines that capture the essence of your article are compelling. Often though we want to write a headline that search engines love and want to index. The challenge between simplicity and optimizing for Google is a constant tension point.
6. Simple to understand
Sometimes we forget that we are writing for a global audience and using simple words is appreciated by those who do not have English as their first language.
7. Simple to implement
If you are offering “How to’s” when writing online then create simple steps that lead people by the hand and show them how to do something one step at a time. They will love you.
8. Simple image
If you are wanting to add some impact to the words then also use simple but iconic images. This sometimes takes effort, neurons and creativity.
What about you?
Taking the time to make it simple will win you friends, readers and viewers, because distilling the complex to short and simple is a valuable skill that shines through.
Less is more..what do you think?
Image by Shutterstock