When was the last time you used a mobile app and said “man, I’m glad there’s all this junk on my screen! This app does 100 things and it’s clear to me what they all are and how to access them!”
I’m confident this has never happened.
However, I bet you have opened a mobile app or two that has been so simple and intuitive upon first use that you actually felt refreshed using it. Maybe it was the picture stream on Instagram or the Newsfeed on Path.
Whatever it was, you were happy using it and happy to come back to use it again. The touch based interface on mobile phones is a joy to use, we love to touch, drag, pinch, and expand things with our fingers. But how many times does clutter get in the way of that joy?
This happens because companies or clients sit around and say “wouldn’t it be cool if it did this, this, and this” instead of saying “wouldn’t it be cool if it were the cleanest, simplest, and most beautiful application ever devised?” If you’re thinking of building or thinking of having someone build a mobile application, fight every second of every day to make simpler the goal and clutter your enemy. Clutter wants to steal the joy of using your amazing, futuristic touch based computer that sits you can keep in your pocket and you must fight it with the golden rule:
Simpler is better.