Less is more

The notion of "less is more" means that a smaller amount of something can be much more effective than a large amount or too much of it. It often refers to the idea that simplicity and clarity lead to good design as the expression is associated with the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969). Mies van der Rohe encouraged the desirability of less visual clutter in buildings and homes in order to focus on what matters.

Implementing simplicity

"Less is more" holds true as well when we consider health literacy design. Our tasks when focusing on health literacy as part of health service design include making complex procedures more simple and easy to follow for the patients and users. Importantly, we should not simplify more than necessary as not to undermine the purpose of our efforts. In this regard, Steve Jobs, a contemporary master of simplicity and excellent user experience, stated that “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” Even after the passing of Steve Jobs, simplicity is not just a design principle at Apple; it is a value that permeates every level of the organization.

As health literacy trailblazer ask yourself: how can I move mountains when it comes to introducing simplicity as a way to increase health literacy? What is the visual clutter that needs to be removed in order to focus on what matters?

Best wishes and success!

Kristine Sørensen

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