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Twitter vs. FriendFeed: The Case for Simplicity

April 7, 2009


In his post entitled “FriendFeed may be the coolest app nobody uses,” Michael Arrington makes a very simple but powerful point:

And the fact is that FriendFeed may just be too complicated for the average user to quickly understand. Twitter is fairly simple: spout off on whatever you like in 140 characters or less, and if you’re interesting enough people will begin to subscribe to you. FriendFeed, by contrast, is a much more complex system with numerous bells and whistles. The power users love it. Novices can be overwhelmed.

For all of you out there building web products, remember the power of simplicity.


Post a comment
  1. April 7, 2009

    The power of simplicity versus the power of featuritis.
    Simplicity is the hardest thing to accomplish, but the most important value.

  2. April 15, 2009

    I think about this a lot, as a former industrial designer. When a product “looks” approachable and pleasingly understandable (like the Flip video camera, or Tumblr) a whole new switch in the brain flips over. It is the switch that inspires curious exploration, confidence, and engagement. So a simple interface, or control panel, or mechanical device, can actually create broader feature usage, than one with more features.

  3. June 20, 2009

    My friend on Orkut shared this link and I’m not dissapointed that I came to your blog.
    p.s. Year One is already on the Internet and you can watch it for free.

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