Simplicity is not necessarily obtained through a reduction of information: it can be provided through order and aesthetics, as in the beautiful stained glass of a Gothic church. This argument frames exactly the need for reductionism in experience design — the entire segment illuminates the value of order and aesthetics.
Alessandro Valli on simplicity:
Italian artist and designer Bruno Munari used to say that progress is when things are made simpler. Less is more. Simplicity leads to an easier and more sustainable relationship with media and technology.
In current interfaces, contents are often immersed in a bunch of audiovisual objects (e.g. widgets, notification sounds) associated with functions and information; this draws people attention away from the content itself, and makes aesthetics and functional integration with the overall environment difficult, if not impossible. Moreover, this is similar to contemporary culture, where things are always immersed in many opinions and comments: it is necessary to unleash the power of things, the power of contents, by putting these back in the foreground, following a Thomistic approach. The higher the level of abstraction of the interface, the higher the cognitive effort required for mere interaction.
The first direction in which simplification takes place is the removal of any kind of mediation between the person and the machine, to achieve the greatest immediacy. This happens at different levels: interaction schemes, representation of content, information organization, disappearing of devices into interaction-related objects (devices not perceived as technology-related devices). As technology becomes invisible at all such levels, from a perceptual and cognitive point of view, interaction becomes completely natural and spontaneous. It is a kind of magic.
One of the characteristics of a successful natural interface is thus the reduction of cognitive load on people interacting with it. Simplicity is not necessarily obtained through a reduction of information: it can be provided through order and aesthetics, as in the beautiful stained glasses of a Gothic church.