Once again, ClickTracks displays the design philosophy that has distinguished it since its founding: creating a tool that makes it easy to manage the essentials of a complex problem. This is not as simple as it sounds: it means avoiding over-simplification, as well as deciding what’s crucial and what’s extraneous. It’s akin to being a superb editor -- an anomaly in the software world, which is inclined to think that running on and on with features is a good thing.
While this has been John Marshall's (the CEO's) mantra since day one, other software companies are finally starting to catch on. In the past, fat client software got feature fat because companies (1) rarely performed human factors testing to understand if and why users got confused and (2) there was no automated feedback mechanism. Marketing wanted more features; the developers saluted and piled them on.
However, the Web has changed that. It's a worldwide human factors laboratory every day. By watching user behavior via Web analytics, companies are starting to realize there's a value to making pertinent content and controls available to users -- and value in jettisoning the extraneous stuff, which only confuses users and slows them down. Because of the Web -- and runaway hits such as the iPod -- the high tech world is finally realizing that intelligent design is a differentiator.
In a busy world overflowing with things to read and things to do, simplification and streamlining -- without dumbing down -- is a feature users yearn for. With so many things to do, a tool that makes the job easier and less stressful is refreshing. Happily, companies are finally figuring out what the architect Mies van der Rohe pointed out 50 years ago -- that "less is more."