The Beauty of Simple Functionality

There are lots of innovative products. There are far fewer creative ones.

It is often the case that innovative products find a way to do more. They are inventive. Invention is a natural part of progress.

Creative products don’t worry as much about doing more. They do things better, in a way that is beyond inventive. It is re-imagined. Creative products embrace the idea that more is less and they get straight to the heart of a product’s purpose. They are often simplistic, maybe because when you’ve found the essence of something, you realize it, and you don’t want to lose that thing by burying it with other features.

Those two things:

  • Functionality that gets to the heart of the essential problem
  • And the beauty of finding the simplest design

Come together to make a product that is… maybe admirable? Art? Maybe even therapeutic? That might sound odd but… if clutter, ugliness, and malfunction are associated with stress then couldn’t we call a simple, beautiful, functional product therapeutic?

Anyhow, now that I’ve built you’re expectations up to a record high:8948056_ra

This is it. That little silver, backwards L. It has nano suction cups that grab your phone or tablet.

  • You can put your device vertical or horizontal
  • It leaves no residue
  • The suction is easy to break but not so easy your device can be accidentally knocked off

If you’re thinking it is far from miraculous, it is. It is simple. It holds your device. It is aluminum instead of cheap plastic, has a very small footprint, and matches the visual appeal of an iPhone or iPad. It’s a huge step from these:


Here are a few shots I took:

photo 3IMG_3645IMG_3646

So here’s the part that annoys me. After having boiled down this stand to this simple, elegant design… they killed its curb appeal with terrible packaging:


Would you notice the simply, elegant design if you were walking by this box in a store? Why the hell does it need so much descriptive writing all over it?  When Apple designed the smart iPad cover, here’s how they packaged it:


The packaging matches the simple, elegant design of the product. The packaging is an extension of the product. The package says something about the product and about the company.

I get why Steve Jobs picked everything apart. He was extremely involved in product design, packaging, the Apple store design, and Apple ads. I get why he yelled at everyone. Can you imagine designing elegant beautiful products and then some shmuck packaging designer suggesting an ugly box that hides the design? I wish more CEOs cared about their products enough to yell at their employees for doing half-ass work.

If you have any products or services that you consider to be creative, beautiful designs, please share them!


One response to “The Beauty of Simple Functionality

  1. Pingback: Do the Same Thing, Except Creatively | Pause for Clarity·

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