Why The Future Of Technology Lies In Simplicity

Image:     Gerd Leonhard

By Dan Demers

When you were a kid, what did you expect the future to look like?

Were you sure there’d be hoverboards or a sassy robot butler who would help the kids with their calculus homework?

When NASA put a man on the moon in 1969, everyone was probably sure there’d be strip malls on Mars by now. Today's "hoverboards” don’t hover. Your robot butler is a tiny vacuum cleaner.

So what happened? Instead of complex technology making life simple, I believe we’ve made things complicated.

Simplicity should be simpler.

To see how complexity has crept into every corner of life, just look at the way we communicate.

There was a time in our recent past when email and phone calls were the sum total of technology-based team communications. Now? We often use multiple messaging apps, SMS and video conferencing tools.

But just think about the future that Star Trek promised. Their team communications were handled through that little communicator tool or on the big screen. It was simple, streamlined, and efficient. The effect was clear: The future promised to simplify life, not complicate it.

But in my experience, that’s not what happened. From your workstation to the living room and even in the driver’s seat of your car, technology is taking over more and more of your life. And despite our best intentions, each piece of tech can actually make things more complicated with a new system to learn and a new login to remember. It's technology overload, and it can be a productivity killer. Let's take a look at how it all got so out of hand.

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