Try a little KISS: Keep it Simple Stupid

13 May

As many readers will know by now, I try and keep digital news and social idea as simple and succinct as possible. For those who are new to my philosophastering, this post should sum me up pretty well.

My Business Director at my last agency was quite the character. With a Masters in Philosophy at Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris  coupled with a military upbringing he certainly wasn’t the person you’d want to get into a one-to-one debate with. His ace was his use of words that would leave you literally speechless. From agency wanky words (*cough* transmedia *cough*) to an abundance of analogies for any scenario he had the lot, but amongst his lexicon there was a lot of stuff that rung true including KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid).

One thing that still shocks me today is digital illiteracy of many in creative & media companies. A lack of understanding of the user and an over-excitement of any technology that is new and shiny. Every idea has to be big which typically translates to complicated. I personally think a simple trick is to put yourself in others’ shoes. What would they do? Reality is the majority of us online have enough going on from emailing to catching up with news and friends, so with the little leisure time left it is important brands do something that is either entertaining or useful and very blood efficient. So when I say Keep it Simple Stupid here are a few things I mean:

  • Ensure the piece of activity compliments / adds-value to the over-arching brand strategy
  • Set a clear objective
  • Fish where the fish are – different communities use different platforms
  • What is the benefit for the user?
  • Be clear what you want the user to do (assume nothing!)
  • Streamline the UX (the less steps from attention to action the better)
  • If you’re going using a QR code explain why the user should scan it <- that bugs me more than anything

All of these points are rather basic considerations, but you will be surprised how many campaigns go live ignoring the above. I’d like to stress is KISS doesn’t mean not to go ambitious, just make sure you tick off the fundamentals!


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