Now that we appreciate the require for simplicity in designs much better, let’s see one more excellent principle. You might have heard of Occam’s Razor; did you understand that you can apply it to web design? When you’ve gained it in your “toolbox”, you’ll have actually an edge in the marketlocation.

You are watching: Sometimes the easiest solution is the last thing on your mind

Occam’s Razor, put simply, states: “the most basic solution is virtually constantly the best.” It’s a problem-addressing principle saying that simplicity is much better than complexity. Named after 14th-century logician and theologian William of Ockham, this concept has actually been helping many great thinkers for centuries. Many type of industries swear by it.

How to Use in Design

In architecture, Occam’s Razor urges us to remove unimportant facets that would certainly decrease a design’s performance. So, when two products or deindications have the same function, Occam’s Razor recomends picking the much easier. As such, once evaluating your deindications, analyze each facet and also remove as many as feasible, without compromising the as a whole feature. This need to ensure that you reprimary through facets you have decreased as much as possible yet which still occupational perfectly


With the versatility and also power of the internet and our design devices, it’s simple to get lugged ameans. Designers can finish up making extremely complex sites or deindicators that may have most functionality and indevelopment, however are challenging to usage, construct and preserve. One can think the website deserve to perform more, but it actually accomplishes less.

This is commonly an worry where carriers feel the should put whatever they possibly can up on the website in the rare case that someone desires the indevelopment. In an significantly competitive sector, the pressure is on to acquire the message “out there”. What carriers frequently neglect is that the overwhelming majority of the individuals will certainly accessibility around 20% of the content on the website (view the article on the Pareto principle; you’ll discover the attach at the bottom). Being ruthmuch less about the worth that a web page or piece of content provides and rerelocating anypoint unessential will certainly make substantially more powerful, more reliable deindicators. It might be difficult to weed out those unvital components — you may say your service has no uncrucial parts; look harder.

For developers, using Occam’s Razor is all around careful thinking. It simpler than you can fear. For circumstances, an editor-writer who has actually a fiction career, but who likewise ghostwrites for clients, calls us. She tells us what she wants in her design:

Big handcomposed font — autograph

Her photograph

Large-font mission statement

Contact information

Picture of the ranch where she works

Daily composing reminder box.

Right amethod, we see we’ve acquired a lot to work-related into her design. Our author insists on an elaborate, decorative landing page. She loves her ranch and also believes other authors will love it, as well, so she desires a big photo of it.

We have to decide how to prioritize these facets. So, let’s see what’s necessary:

Author’s photograph

Signature/autograph—her branding

Mission statement.

These three components embody her company. We desire to present a renowned author who deserve to help various other writers. However, we can move the unvital components to various other pages utilizing connect buttons:

Daily composing tips

Contact Information

Picture of ranch.

We deserve to show the ranch via her call indevelopment, and we have the right to probably architecture a daily writing guideline as a pop-up.

The phone goes; our writer loves what we’ve done via the style. However, she desires her ranch to feature on the landing page. We say: “We’ll watch what we can execute.”

Using Occam’s Razor, we see that we can fade the ranch into the background so that the imperiods are tbelow, yet don’t distract. We want to reduced out “noise”, which would certainly distract/confuse individuals. So, we rerelocate everything that would certainly have actually obtained in the way. Our writer friend is an enthusiastic perkid, yet her enthusiasm gets the much better of her. She’s scared of authors not contacting her. That’s the problem: she’s trying to press all her goodies onto the landing web page, not appreciating that the flood of indevelopment will certainly make user’s go: “What?” Instead of showing her good name and business in the best means, she acquired despeprice and also tried to squeeze ideas in, making a maze — walls, pictures, text, and also spaces sprawling everywhere. Users coming to her site desire help; they don’t want to have to work-related out how she deserve to assist them. Worse, it would certainly tell them that this perchild can’t gain principles across correctly. Why have to they desire her to write for them?

Occam’s Razor cuts down the walls that keep a message from gaining through. Also, this dominance speaks to the age-old saying that “A style isn’t finished when tright here is nopoint more to add, however when tright here is nothing left to take away.” Design simplicity is elegant, advanced and a lot more efficient than the complex decorative style that is so common on the internet these days.

Simplicity shows treatment, understanding and also effort


It’s easy to think that the words “simple” and also “easy” can display a lack of sophistication, or that functioning to create straightforward deindications implies you don’t have to work incredibly a lot. You could worry that a customer will certainly think that it took you 10 minutes to style somepoint that he/she might have actually made.

Let’s execute a reality check. Our author-ghostwriter has actually noticed the high number of hits her website is acquiring. She certainly doesn’t think that we’ve been lazy; she knows that we operated magic for her. The proof is in the number of web page views — users have found it easy to navigate. Instead of shutting off on the landing web page after squinting in confusion, many kind of went on to learn more. The design’s simplicity, mirroring imeras and also message in the finest method (remember the various other architecture values here, such as the golden ratio), puts them at ease. They have a good user experience; a lot of watch her site’s simple, comprehensive design mirroring her skill as a no-nonfeeling writer who’ll work-related the exact same magic for them.

With this in mind, we can pat ourselves on the earlier for having done it for her. However before, let’s look at what we did. We:

Asked how many type of aspects the landing web page needed, including choices or decisions our frifinish wanted customers to make. She wanted them to click her daily writing reminder box so they might view previous days’ tips. We linked this elsewhere.

Asked what she wanted her users to perform the most. She wanted world contacting her for help creating books. So, we highlighted the call box, however we included one that took users to an additional page, where they can check out all around her services initially. This indevelopment was far more thorough than the basic description we put on her landing page: “Making manuscripts relocate into book and also movie deals.”

Asked if a user, regardless of background, could gain confused/frustrated. Her initial principle was confutilizing. We imagined approaching the design as ordinary world. Our friend wants to assist various other writers; well, if an 88 year-old author is in search of someone to clean up his manuscript, he could have had actually trouble through her design.

In summary, we translated what the writer wanted right into a website that was easy to understand and also use for the targain users. Keeping in mind Occam’s razor, we concentrated on the essential aspects and also keeping the interface basic.

The Net is saturated through intricate and also exquisitely facility designs. Many flash at us, providing all sorts of benefits, their designers not mindful that it’s distracting, commonplace, and cheap-looking, Simplicity is refreshing.

Keeping Accessibility in Mind

Keeping our deindicators simple implies that the websites we develop are easily accessible. Creating an easy layout, with carefully inserted images (remember the Rule of Thirds?) and also easy, to-the-allude, pithy text will certainly keep customers on the web page.


What gets them navigating to the call for action, such as the shopping cart counts on how you overview them. Did you:

Shave actually off the unnecessary bits?

Tone dvery own anypoint loud or distracting?

Use plain language?

Would my 80 year-old neighbor understand also what the webwebsite is about?

Would my grandmom have the ability to buy what I market with my site and also feel good?

Or, you can constantly make a “reality check”:

And above all, will my customers understand the website’s included value and also exactly how it targets their requirements and also desires?

The Take Away

Occam’s Razor is a problem-resolving principle devised in the 14th Century that says that simplicity is better than complexity. It has actually many type of applications, running from detective occupational to deductive thinking about the cosmos.

We UX designers find that it empowers us to aim previous the tendency to over-think our deindications. It’s basic to emphasis on a cool idea, without standing back and also asking if it’s essential to what we want to achieve. Occam’s Razor allows us strategy and arrangement a architecture carefully. Our tendency is to store including what seem choose excellent facets, sometimes worrying that if we don’t gain all we desire in one place, we’ll fail by a) weakening the message, or b) looking lazy.

Think of Apple. Steve Jobs’ philosophy taken on Occam’s Razor. His iPad and also iPhone, for instance, are the proof: one button on the front of a seammuch less, self-had gadget.

By asking ourselves a few questions about our style and our users’ expectations, and reacting as necessary, shaving actually off the clutter or relocating less necessary bits to other peras, we’ll serve our individuals and ourselves best. Remember, your architecture isn’t ready until you’ve uncovered that you can’t take anypoint else out. This isn’t choose repacking a suitcase to complement a weight limit; it’s about decreating your architecture. When you’ve gained your piece down to its bare essentials, that economic climate will certainly pay dividends. By getting in ahead of your user’s eye, you can judge. Their page views and also clicks will certainly tell you if you’ve made the ideal selections.

Okay, so you’ve made it all the way below yet you’re thinking: “I live by the principle of the simplest solution is constantly the best”. Where’s my take away? Now that you have a name for this principle, it is yet an additional advocacy tool to user via your client, boss, colleague. Whenever before they firmly insist around adding even more functionalities, more elements, even more and more, remind them of the Occam’s Razor.

See more: What Kind Of Symmetry Does A Starfish Have, What Type Of Symmetry Did Your Starfish Have

References & Where to Find Out More

McConnell, C. (2010). “Occam’s Razor: A Great Principle For Designers.” Web Designer Depot. Retrieved from:

Lant, M. (2010). “Occam’s Razor and also the Art of Software Design”. Private Blog. Retrieved from:

The Pareto Principle and Your User Experience Work: