Geeks like complexity

In a very interesting article in Forbes Newsletter, Andrew McAffee says:

And at the risk of oversimplifying and engaging in occupational profiling, geeks like complexity. They like the challenge of fitting a lot into a little, and they also like using the end products that they and their peers at other companies come up with. It’s fun for them to learn about bells and whistles, or to master an opaque user interface (in their saddest delusion, they hope that others will find their advanced tool-use abilities sexy).

Later it is said that

Many people have commented on what social scientist Barry Schwartz has termed “The Paradox of Choice.” We crave choice while finding it paralyzing, and even disheartening.

Very nice points. And as a person (Geek) who spent most of my time among both researcher types and product designers, I agree with these observations. People are afraid to design simple and useful system — the fear of being considered ‘simplistic’ drives people to design complext systems. The same fear — and a lot more pronounced exists — among academicians. They must obfuscate their ideas behind jargon and mathematics to make them respectable by a very few — less than 10 — people in the world.

I remember when Tom Knoll was my student and was involved in designing Photoshop and was driven by using totally non-Geek terminology so masses could do photo-processing. He carefully avoided common image processing and computer vision terms. And thats what made Photoshop what it is today — its simplicity.

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