Simple Is Not Easy

Many people including us often interchange the words simple and easy thinking that it’s the same. But, it’s not. Just because something is simple to use doesn’t mean it’s easy to manufacture, right? We use our smartphones everyday and we love it because it’s simple to use — its user interface is very intuitive that we barely need to look at the manual to operate it. But, it does not mean that it was easy to manufacture and conceive. It doesn’t mean just because it’s simple to watch a movie doesn’t mean it’s easy to produce and direct it.

Simple and easy are very different things. I believe we should only use the word “simple” in the result or output of our project. In the software industry, when we create software we visualize our software to be simple to use — that is the outcome what we want to achieve. We only use the word “easy” on the small tasks at hand when developing software and we only use the word “easy” if we have done it before and we can do it again without much effort for our brain.

What do I mean by effort for our brain? Let’s go to the music industry now. We all love to listen to music but only a few of us can really play a musical instrument like John Mayer does, right? John Mayer didn’t start out awesome when it comes to playing the guitar — I bet he sucked as all normal people does when we learn something for the first time. But, over time as he continues to practice and repeats the same things over and over again it becomes embedded to his subconscious mind and muscle memory that he barely has to think of his actions — what note or what chord to play next. In other words, it becomes easy. But, is it simple to do? No, it’s not. Yet it’s simple to listen to.

So just to reiterate, for me “easy” means something we have done many times before and we have no trouble in doing it again and again. For me, “simple” is something to do with appreciation of a product or service not involving ourselves on how were they able to manufacture the product or how were they able to come up with a good service.

🧑🏻‍💻 Practical tech guide