A good design doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the opposite is true. Times in which every detail of the furniture was cautiously crafted by hand are long gone. The focus of the 21st century is on effectiveness, versatility and sustainability. We want our furniture to serve the intended purpose on 100% and we want it to be scalable and highly usable throughout various office scenarios during the product’s lifespan. With simple design, the manufacturer can focus on what makes good furniture: The quality of materials, joints and fittings and exceptional ergonomics.
People form relationships with things they understand
When choosing furniture, design affects us in the same way as will our guests. People generally prefer less complicated things to more complicated ones. As simple as that. We feel easy around things that we understand. This feeling is called cognitive fluency. The more straightforward the design is, the easier is to understand. And because one can read the design, one can begin to build a relationship with the product.
Interesting research conducted by three universities on web design can be easily transferred to furniture. Researchers at Harvard, the University of Maryland and the University of Colorado found that the more complex the design was, the harder it was to remember. Too complicated design takes longer for our eyes to scan and send information to the brain to decode it. It requires more resources, making us feel tired sooner. And no one wants their visitors or employees to get tired.
Simple design means ease of use for an attractive price
We touched on what visual impact simple design has. Now let’s talk about manufacturing and use. With a less diverse portfolio manufacturer must source in order to make the product, the manufacturer has the option to position the product in a more attractive price range. The product with fewer components is also less likely to malfunction and easier to customize and move. With less complicated designs, the manufacturer can double their focus on the quality of the key components that are heavily used (like moving parts, hinges).
Simple design defines our fast-paced and quickly evolving 21st century. It helps us to be effective and flexible on the journey to meet our goals and desires. And is up to furniture manufacturers to find that perfect balance between overly complicated and too simple to deliver a product that empowers.