In the seminal writing guide The Elements of Style, William Strunk and E.B. White famously advised us to “Omit Needless Words.” What’s true for writers is also applicable for other aspects of creativity as well, especially design.
The Industry’s Jered Erondu reveals how the writing process has improved his design work:
In writing, it’s the ability to impart an idea in a short amount of words. Seth Godin’s blog is a perfect example. Everyday, he delivers a rich piece of advice in what most blogs will consider a mere paragraph.
In design, brevity is finding the best way to perform an action in the fewest steps without losing efficiency or the message. And it requires building a visual hierarchy–understanding what the most important actions are for your product.
What’s most important now? Show that on top. What will be used infrequently? Show that later. How many steps are needed to access them–are they all necessary? Could removing this or adding that drop the action time by one step or second? These are the questions I ask myself when designing. I make my first design pass, then revisit later to “shorten.”