Keep it simple, stupid


Do we associate quality with complexity? 95% of mobile phone users understand about 10% of their phones’ capabilities. Does any manufacturer seriously believe we are going to read the handbook (or should I say download it). These things make ‘The Lord of the Rings’ seem like a postcard.

Friends are more useful than a manual and a darn site quicker. We kick ourselves of course but most of their tips are at least helpful. Did you know if you’ve just typed a long sentence and accidentally deleted it on your iPhone, you can give it a shake to bring up the undo/redo button? OK, of course you did, but I didn’t. The point is this useful tip is hidden in a tsunami of useless information.

...and another thing

Old instruction manuals actually held useful information. Take cars for example. Thirty years ago they told you how to tighten a fan belt, check spark plug gaps, change a tyre and all this information crammed into a few dozen pages. Now just my instruction manual for the entertainment section of my car is over an inch and a half thick! The actual manual is the size of the Bible yet does not cover one single tip for repair or safety maintenance…unless you count a computer reset. As a result I’ve never read the thing except to understand how to refill the windscreen washer bottle.

...and another thing

Coffee. Cappuccino, macchiato, espresso. That’s all a good coffee shop needs to offer. Frappacrappa, mochasoya and vanillachai ain’t coffee. Its marketing nonsense. If that’s what you want, that’s fine but it’s not coffee. It’s twiddling and complicating something whose simplicity and purity is its attraction. Any order longer than four syllables belongs at a kids tea party (or maybe the Republican Tea Party), not at a real coffee shop. And whilst we are on the subject can someone explain how orders are taken so quickly with my name written on the cup can take a lifetime to collect from the barista!

...and another thing

Over complicated instructions include TiVo/Sky box, exercise wrist monitors, cameras, room service dry cleaning forms, changing batteries in hearing aids for your parents and anything from Ikea. Two of my favourites are the TV remote whose instructions includes the immortal Not Dishwasher safe and my wife’s hairdryer Do not use while sleeping.

Thank God you don’t need an instruction manual for sex…….well of course you can buy one but by the time you have spent six hours reading it, the mood for your partner might have passed on.

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One Comment

  1. Peter says:

    You are so right !! It’s Emperors clothes time …

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